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Wed 17 Jun 2009 06:26 AM

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Affordable homes key for Saudi developers

Real estate chief says demand is outstripping supply for homes for middle income families.

Saudi Arabia's real estate companies must focus on providing affordable housing for the large number of middle class families in the kingdom, a leading property industry official has said.

Participating in a panel discussion at Cityscape Jeddah, Injaz Development Company managing director Omar Abdullah Al-Kadi claimed there was an absence of accurate statistics on housing demand.

He said the government projected demand for new houses growing at the rate of 180,000 and 200,000 per year, while some real estate experts say the demand is higher.

"There is considerable talk in the real sector about premiums and the increasing demand for palaces. However, the studies that we have conducted show that the owners of such high net-worth palaces would not like to depend on master developers to build because they prefer to construct the palaces according to their own standards and taste," he added.

Al-Kadi said the demand of the middle income group outstripped supply and needed to be targeted by real estate companies.

The Injaz MD also claimed that the emerging conditions in the Saudi real estate market would allow foreign investments in the sector and he expected companies from Europe, China and the US to enter the Saudi market.

Injaz Development Company was established in 2006 in Riyadh as a Saudi investment company and a master developer.