Buying in Dubai is surging in popularity, as sales of property in the emirate are up 54 per cent.This is according to a survey by propertyfinder.ae, which polled 3,000 brokers to find out how the housing market is bearing up in the region.The results found the volume of home and apartment sales were up 54 per cent as values shot up by nearly one-third (32 per cent) in the first quarter of the year compared to 2011.Villa communities - such as those at Palm Jumeirah, Arabian Ranches and the Springs - have already witnessed a rise in value by up to nine per cent.Other changes are taking place in the Dubai property market, with more brokers claiming the once strict one cheque payment requirement for renting in the emirate is on the way out.Indeed, more than half of respondents admitted four cheques is now the norm. with two, three and four cheque deals being offered in the mainstream.Only six per cent of brokers said one cheque is still standard practice, which indicates the nature of being a tenant or a landlord in the city is evolving, just as the city has been over its recent period of resurgence.Furthermore, increasing numbers of foreign nationals seeking opportunities for property investment in the region intend to lease their acquisitions out to people.Therefore, they are bringing western monthly payment systems for renting over to the UAE with them.One real estate agent told the website: "Landlords' priorities have changed - now it is not just a case of how many cheques a person can offer, but what type of person they are."They added: "They want to be sure that the potential tenant will look after and care for the property and will not be calling every time a light bulb needs replacing. They also want someone who is amicable to deal with."Despite this, the one-cheque system shows no sign of disappearing, with many landlords still preferring this payment method, which had become normal in the UAE.