That means twice as many people were using our site to search for a mortgage than in February.

Mortgages on the rise

Over the first three months of the year, the number of UAE mortgage searches on has leapt 35%.

The vast majority of home loan searches were expats looking to buy property in Dubai.It isn’t hard to see why so many expats are in a hurry to buy right now. Prices in Dubai rose by around 43% last year, according to figures from Cluttons.

And they could rise by another 35% or 40% this year, according to a recent prediction by Sultan bin Meiren, director-general of the Dubai Land Department.

There is a widespread feeling that the current property market resurgence is built on more secure foundations than the last boom, which burst after the financial crisis.

A key reason is that the UAE Central Bank has moved to prevent borrowers from overstretching themselves by insisting they make higher minimum down payments to secure their dream home.

Expats buying a property for under Dh5 million must now produce a minimum downpayment of 25%, rising to 35% for properties above Dh5 million. For second properties, the minimum downpayment is 40%.

UAE nationals need a 20% downpayment for homes under Dh5 million, rising to 30% for homes over Dh5 million, and 30% for any subsequent properties.

Every buyer needs to put down a 50% downpayment for off-plan properties, regardless of whether they are an expat or local.

These are sensible measures, but is everybody aware of them?

Our data suggests they aren’t. Many of our users are searching for home loans with downpayments of between just 10% and 20%.

If you’re working out how much you can afford to spend on a property, you need to start from the right base point. So make sure your downpayment meets the UAE’s new, stringent requirements.

Once you have your downpayment, you will find plenty of highly competitive UAE mortgage rates on

Our search mechanism also allows you to hunt for home loans based on your personal circumstances, such as your downpayment, monthly salary and whether you want Islamic finance. It will then search the best deals from more than 20 lenders based in the UAE, to find the right home loan for you.

There are some great deals available now, with initial rates starting from a little over 2%. A search takes seconds, but can save you thousands of dollars in total interest repayments over the term of your mortgage.

The scramble to buy property in Dubai looks set to continue. Happily, the process of finding a UAE mortgage is now a lot less stressful.