By Andrew White
Official says 200,000 new housing units needed each year to meet demand.
Investment in Saudi Arabia’s real estate market is likely to top $129bn in the next three years, according to the head of the kingdom’s chambers of commerce.
Fahad Al Sultan, secretary general of the Council of Saudi Chambers, said that the real estate sector was the Kingdom’s most important sector after oil, and that the GDP of the sector in the Kingdom rose by 50 percent during the period from 1999 to 2008, with an average annual growth of five percent.
“It has 92 related active industries linked to one another in the sector… [and] contributes about $14.7bn to the national GDP of the Kingdom,” Sultan said, according to a report in Saudi daily newspaper Arab Times.
He also announced that the Saudi Arabian International Real Estate Conference (SAIRE) would be held in Riyadh from February 28 to March 2.
Sultan said that following the conference, the participants were expected to call for the establishment of a government authority to look after the Kingdom’s real estate business.
He added that the local market needed 164,000 to 200,000 new housing units per year, pointing out that Saudi required the construction of 2.62 million housing units by 2020.
“The volume of real estate transactions has doubled to reach some $267bn, and will continue to grow if approved mortgages and real estate financing facilities become a reality in the Kingdom,” said Sultan.