Saudi needs US $181.3bn for homes

An investment of US $181.3 billion (SAR680 billion) is needed in Saudi Arabia to meet expected demand for housing by 2015, according to a report by local investment bank NCB Capital.

An investment of US $181.3 billion (SAR680 billion) is needed in Saudi Arabia to meet expected demand for housing by 2015, according to a report by local investment bank NCB Capital.

The report found that the country's booming population, with 70% aged below 30, was creating an acute housing problem in the kingdom.

The report forecast incremental residential demand of more than 1.3 million units over the next seven years.

The four provinces of Makkah, Riyadh, Madinah and the Eastern Province alone would require a housing investment of around $160 billion over the period, it said.

In light of the need for housing, the report said the outlook for companies in the real estate and allied sectors was bullish.

It predicted residential and commercial real estate sales would soar in the coming years with the expected introduction of a mortgage law and the government investment in economic and industrial zones.

It said the upcoming mortgage law would improve housing affordability, driving more people to buy instead of rent.

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