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Saudi home ownership fund hands out $257m in March

Saudi home ownership Alamy
A traditional Saudi home near Abha: home ownership had risen to 61 percent in the last official census
  • Total since 2017 now $15bn
  • Home ownership now over 60%
  • Deals down 32% in 2013

Saudi Arabia’s Real Estate Development Fund provided another SR963 million ($257 million) in housing support in March.

This takes the total given since 2017 to increase home ownership in the kingdom to $15 billion, the Saudi government said. 

The government is trying to raise home ownership among nationals to 70 percent of the population by 2030, as part of its economic transformation plans. 

It is already on the way to making its target, with home ownership put at 61 percent by the end of 2022 in the last official census.

But the mortgage market was sluggish last year, as GDP contracted by 0.8 percent, while interest rates were high. 

Residential real estate deals fell by nearly a third during the first half of 2023. There were 70,000 transactions during the first six months of the year, down from 103,000 in the same period last year, according to Knight Frank.

A Moody’s report this month said residential mortgages will drive demand for consumer credit over the next year. 

The International Monetary Fund raised its 2025 forecast for Saudi GDP growth in its latest World Economic Outlook by 1.3 points to 5.5 percent, describing the non-oil economy as robust.

The government’s Real Estate Development Fund has maintained high levels of support for its lending arm, Sakani, throughout the past year. 

Sakani arranges long-term low interest financing for Saudis to own and build on plots of land, making it more attractive than commercial mortgage lenders.

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