KSA faces potential 1 million shortfall in residential units by 2013

Published May 5th, 2010 - 11:36 GMT


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is considering the implementation of a comprehensive National Strategy to augment the country’s stock of affordable housing. HRH King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz has emphasized the need to expedite measures for facilitating easier access to housing for low- to middle-income citizens. Around 80 per cent of the Saudi population, which continues to grow at an annual rate of 2.9 per cent, is under the age of 39. Many of them are married couples in search of affordable entry-level housing to start their own families.

The projects and services of over 100 local property developers, investors and service-driven firms with the potential to meet the KSA’s low-cost housing needs will be showcased in 10,000 sqm of exhibition space during the upcoming Business-to-Business Cityscape Jeddah 2010 exhibition. Saudi Arabia’s leading real estate investment and development event will run from June 7 to 9, 2010 at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events and will be held under the Patronage of HRH Prince Misha’al Bin Majed Bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Jeddah. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry have approved the event and the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a key supporter.

“Industry analysts affirm that low-cost housing has joined business parks as the top two investment attractions of Saudi Arabia due to surging demand for residential units. The national population is expected to hit 27 million by next year, so there is a growing urgency to balance residential developments so that everyone has the opportunity to buy a house that fits their needs and their budgets. Fortunately the KSA Government has taken the lead to ensure that housing will be accessible for all, and so we can expect affordable housing to occupy a greater share in upcoming property projects which will be showcased at Cityscape Jeddah,” said Deep Marwaha, Director of Cityscape Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia could sustain a shortfall of up to one million housing units through 2013. Aside from its rapidly rising population, the country has one of the highest housing densities in the world (6.4 per cent in 2008). Therefore there is a constant demand for units among family members who want to have their own accommodations. Moreover, the Saudi urban population is very high, with over 80 percent of the population living in urban areas. Efforts are currently underway among developers to balance the distribution, location, and target markets of projects to ensure the property sector’s even growth. The underserved low-cost housing segment in particular is gaining greater popularity among developers and investors.

“The private sector is responding positively to the Saudi Government’s call for more low-cost housing developments. For our part, we intend to assist in the financing side so that developers can focus more on their projects. There is a need to consolidate industry and government efforts so that we can build a property market that is strong, balanced, and
Sustainable,” said Jamil Ghazawi, CEO, SHADA HOMES.

Although the Saudi royal family has initiated several charitable housing projects across the Kingdom to meet the needs of low income groups, a more systematic approach is needed to expedite the growth of mass housing. Government-backed initiatives such as the upcoming mortgage law and changes in municipal home construction legislation are reflecting the movement towards a large-scale National Strategy that will improve the ability of low- and middle-income individuals to acquire their own homes.

Cityscape Jeddah 2010 will also feature the 2nd annual Saudi Arabia Real Estate Investment and Development Conference, which will be held under the theme ‘Transparency, Investment Models and Future Partnerships.’ There will also be exclusive Investor Round Tables in addition to the 2nd Cityscape Awards for Real Estate in Saudi Arabia to be held on the opening night.

Cityscape Jeddah 2010 sponsors include Sumou Real Estate (Principal Sponsor), Knowledge Economic City (Silver Sponsor), and Shuaa Capital (Conference Investment Sponsor). For more event details please visit www.cityscapejeddah.com

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