Applying for a mortgage can be a daunting process, but at Holo, we try to make it as easy and stress-free as possible. The Holo team has almost three decades of experience with mortgages in the region. If there's a home mortgage question we don't know the answer to, we're yet to hear it.
Before you consider buying a property there are a few things to bear in mind. These useful pointers should guide you through what you should need to think about. Here's a short introduction to mortgages, or home loans as they are sometimes called, in the UAE.
We've got access to fixed and variable rate home loans in the UAE on different term lengths as well as conventional and Islamic mortgages. When you know what your options are, you can make the decision that's best for you and your requirements.
The first thing you'll want to think about when it comes to home mortgage interest rates is whether you want a Fixed or Variable rate mortgage.
A fixed-rate means that the rate of interest on the mortgage you pay stays the same for a specific period of time, normally between 1-5 years. During this period of time, your mortgage rate and your monthly repayment won't change. A fixed-rate mortgage allows you to effectively budget each month for a set period of time. After your fixed-rate period ends, you will automatically follow on to the bank's variable rate or you can look at a buy-out or remortgage option to see what other options may be best for you.
Variable-rate mortgages mean the interest you pay varies over time. Variable-rate home loans are linked to the EIBOR. The EIBOR is a benchmark interest rate for lending between banks in the UAE. Most banks will adjust the variable rate every quarter. You may find that some banks offer variable-rate mortgages on a monthly or six-month basis but this is less common.
The benefit of a variable rate mortgage is that if interest rates are low you will be able to benefit from the low EIBOR rate.
With a conventional mortgage, the bank will lend you the money to finance your new home. The mortgage consists of the loan for the amount you wish to borrow, and an interest rate applied to the loan amount. An Islamic mortgage is a Sharia-compliant way of financing a property purchase. Under Sharia, Law banks are not allowed to charge interest on a loan.
This one is a very common misconception and it's easy to see why you'd assume that your bank would be your best bet for a straightforward application. Don't be reluctant to shop around and research your options. There are hundreds of home mortgage products on the market and your bank might not necessarily have the best deal or lowest interest rate for home loans.
Researching your options will take time, but we can take that off your hands. Holo is the Middle East's first digital mortgage platform. Answer a few quick questions and we'll search the market for you in a matter of minutes. We have access to all the mortgage products available from all the UAE banks so we will be able to get you the best deal. Holo is 100% free, saving you time and money.
It's true that there are fees involved in buying a property in the UAE. If you use a mortgage broker, they will likely charge you between AED 2,000 and AED 5,000.
Using an online mortgage platform like Holo is 100% free. You'll be assigned your own expert mortgage consultant, and they'll do all the heavy lifting for you.
There are other fees involved in the home-buying process. These fees differ between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Let's take a look at the indicative costs you'll need to factor in.
- Valuation Fee AED 2,500 - 3,000 + VAT. A fee is paid by the buyer to assess the current market value of the property they wish to buy.
- Bank Processing Fee. 0-1% + VAT of loan amount. This is a fee charged by the bank for processing your mortgage and is normally charged before your Final Offer Letter is issued.
- Land Department Fee. 4% of property value + AED 580. This is a one-time fee paid to the DLD (Dubai Land Department) for registering the Real Estate transaction.
- Trustee Fee. AED 4,000 + VAT. The fee charged by the trustee office for facilitating the property transaction on behalf of the DLD.
- Mortgage Registration. 0.25% of loan amount + 250 AED. This is a fee charged for the registration of a mortgage against a property. This is charged on the day of the transfer.
- Real Estate Fee. 2% of property value + VAT. This is a fee charged by your Real Estate Agent for their services.
- Abu Dhabi Municipality. 2% of Property value. A one-time fee is paid to the ADM (Abu Dhabi Municipality) for registering the Real Estate transaction.
- Bank Processing Fee. 0 - 1% of Loan Amount. The fee levied by the bank for the processing of the mortgage application. This is normally charged before the Final Offer issuance.
- Real Estate Fee. 2% of Property Value + VAT. Fee charged by Real Estate agent for services rendered. This is usually paid on the day of the transfer.
- Mortgage Registration. 0.1% of the Loan Amount. The fee levied by the ADM for the registration of a mortgage against the property. This is charged on the day of the transfer.
- Valuation Fee. AED 2,500 - 3,000 + VAT. The fee is paid by the buyer for the purpose of assessing the current market value of the property.
Arranging a mortgage takes about 4-6 weeks but it can be quicker. You can start the process by discovering what mortgages best suit your needs. Use our UAE home loan calculator to do this. It only takes about two minutes and it's free.
Eligibility for a mortgage is dependent on a number of factors. First of all, you will want to check your affordability. Using a mortgage calculator can help you do this.
You will need a deposit to get a UAE mortgage. How much you can borrow depends on whether you are looking to buy as a resident or non-resident; expat or UAE national. If you are an expat and the property value is under AED 5 million, you'll need a 20% deposit. If you're an Emirati, you'll need a 15% deposit. If the property value is over AED 5 million and you're an expat, you'll need a 30% deposit or 25% as an Emirati national.
Lenders want to know your income and your financial liabilities so they can be confident you can afford the repayments on the mortgage you want to obtain. You'll need a good credit score so now is a good time to check it. You can check your credit score in the UAE with the AECB (Al Etihad Credit Bureau).
Make sure you don't have any late payments on things like utilities or telecom bills. Your access to credit will also impact your affordability. Pay down any existing debt and ensure your credit card balance is less than 30% of your total limit.
Having a regular and stable income is important to lenders. If you are thinking about changing jobs, even within your existing company, this may impact the success of your mortgage application. Lenders will want to see a salary certificate and six months' worth of pay slips and regular payments from your employer.
If you are self-employed you will need to provide two years' worth of audited financials, 12 months' worth of business account statements, and six months' personal bank statements.
Our team is always on hand to help you throughout the process and what documentation you'll need to provide. If you'd like more information about mortgages in the UAE, check out our blog. It's full of tips and advice from our expert mortgage advisors.
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This blog is for educational purposes, but everyone's case is unique, and local guidelines and regulations may change. Our mortgage advisors can help you with any question you may have and have the latest advice. Get in touch.