Saudi Arabian home ownership jumps in first quarter of 2020: Report

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Home ownership among Saudi nationals climbed in the first quarter of 2020 as the government’s push to increase home ownership levels takes effect, according to real estate firm JLL.

Saudi Arabia’s government has been focused on increasing the level of home ownership to 60 percent by the end of 2020, with a goal of 70 percent by the end of 2030. The Sakani program, the name for the ownership plan under Vision 2030, delivered around 7,500 units in Riyadh, while in Jeddah around 1,800 units were given, the report said.

“In the short- to mid-term, demand remains supported by the Sakani program and the various mortgage products launched over the past couple of years,” said Dana Salbak, Head of Research MENA at JLL.

Countries around the world have gone into widespread lockdown with people staying home and businesses shuttered, and a slowdown is expected to hit the Saudi housing market as well. The economic fallout of these policies has been dramatic, with the IMF warning that the coronavirus recession is likely to be the worst in nearly a century.

“However, in light of the current conditions and with no specific stimulus package in support of the residential market, we can expect somewhat of a slowdown in demand over the coming period,” Salbak added.

In the office sector, falling oil prices and remote working practices have both dampened demand for office space. Riyadh and Jeddah witnessed between 4 and 6 percent declines in office space performance throughout the first quarter, JLL said.

More consumers have moved online for many activities, driving demand for e-commerce.

“This aligns with some of the strategic goals of Vision 2030, which aims to increase the proportion of online payments from a target of 28 percent this year, to 70 percent by 2030,” Salbak added.

Saudi Arabia has recorded 31,938 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with a death toll of 209. Total recoveries so far are 6,783.

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