NEOM first choice among giga-projects for Saudi Arabian homebuyers: Survey

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Saudi Arabia’s planned megacity NEOM is the first choice for property buyers considering investing in one of the Kingdom’s new giga-projects, according to a new survey.

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First-time buyers, homeowners looking for a second property, and high net worth investors all picked NEOM over the Red Sea Project and the Diriyah Gate Project, in a survey of 1003 households and 55 high net worth individuals carried out by property consultancy Knight Frank.

A total of 41 percent of respondents said they would pick NEOM over other projects.

Interestingly, only 18 percent of prospective buyers considering a property in NEOM said they would be willing to move there.

In contrast, 55 percent said that they would be interested in buying a second home, while 27 percent would purchase for investment reasons.

Married couples living together were the group most interested in buying in NEOM, with 71 percent expressing interest.

People from Dammam were also particularly interested (44 percent), followed by Jeddah (43 percent), and then Riyadh (39 percent).

Overall, Riyadh was the most popular choice for first-time buyers. Out of those surveyed, 35 percent said they would buy in the capital, while 25 percent eyed Jeddah, 12 percent Dammam, three percent Mecca, and two percent Medina.

First time buyers are also looking abroad for properties, with 11 percent saying they would buy in a foreign country.

“Historically Saudi Arabia’s real estate market was a bit of an enigma, often perceived to be opaque and inaccessible, but how times have changed,” said James Lewis, Knight Frank’s Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa in a statement.

“The sleeping giant has awoken and with over US $1 trillion of real estate projects planned, or underway, the Kingdom is transforming at a phenomenal pace.”

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