State help is needed to whittle down the cost of home loans in the UAE and to push local banks to improve mortgage availability, a real estate expert has said.

The UAE central bank must intervene to slash interest rates on home loans and spur activity in the flattened housing markets, said Nick Maclean, regional head of property consultancy CB Richard Ellis.

“The cost here, perhaps eight or nine percent on the few mortgages that are available, compared with what I’m paying in the UK of 0.995%t, is bizarre,” he said.