Saudi Arabia’s ‘Vision 2030’ housing initiative has achieved a significant milestone in providing affordable housing for all citizens by 2030. According to recent data, over 1 million housing units have been distributed to needy families since the program was launched in 2017.
The initiative has also created over 280,000 jobs in the construction and housing sectors, with many of them going to young Saudi citizens. By providing affordable housing to low-income families, the initiative has also stimulated economic growth in the Kingdom.
The Saudi government has allocated over SAR 300 billion (USD 80 billion) to the initiative so far. Apart from that, the project has also seen the involvement of private sector companies, which, in turn, have got incentives from the state. This has helped create a competitive housing market, resulting in lower prices and better quality housing for citizens.
One of the critical components of the ‘Vision 2030’ housing initiative is the development of new housing projects across the Kingdom. These projects are designed to provide affordable and comfortable housing to different population segments.
One such project is the Al-Tahya housing project, located in Taif. The project comprises several apartments and villas, with 2,000 housing units. The apartments range from one to four bedrooms, while the villas have three to six.
The apartments and villas are spacious and well-ventilated, with plenty of natural light. The project also has several amenities, including playgrounds, green spaces, and community centres for social gatherings.
The Al-Tahya housing project has quickly become a popular choice for families in Taif, looking for a living environment which is comfortable, affordable and secure.
Another successful project is the Al-Rawabi housing project in the city of Jeddah. This project was designed keeping in mind young couples and newlyweds. It consists of small but comfortable apartments with one or two bedrooms. The apartments also have modern amenities like air conditioning and high-speed internet.
The Al-Rawabi housing project also has several community facilities, including a gym, a swimming pool, and a shopping centre. It has been a great success, in terms of providing much-needed relief to young couples struggling to find affordable housing in the city.
Still, A Long Way To Go
Over 1.6 million Saudi nationals were found to be on waiting lists for government housing programmes in 2017.
The Kingdom has launched a new initiative called the “Housing Programme in 2018” to provide affordable, quality, safe, and well-located housing for Saudi families. The program has been tasked to respond to the challenges posed by population growth, rapid urbanization, an insufficient supply of affordable housing, and an unregulated self-build market. This initiative reaffirms the Kingdom’s commitment to addressing these challenges and improving access to housing for its citizens.
The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing (MoMRA) has collaborated with the private sector to make homeownership more accessible to citizens. This effort is in line with ‘Vision 2030’ and involves incentivizing developers to create affordable housing solutions that meet the public’s needs. Through this partnership, MoMRA aims to provide competitive and subsidized prices for housing products.
A recent report has highlighted several key initiatives that have positively impacted the Kingdom’s transformation.
The government has taken steps to address the issue of unaffordable housing caused by high mortgage interest rates. Through various government-backed initiatives, this critical dimension aims to overcome the barriers faced by potential homebuyers.
The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) had injected over SR6.5billion (USD 1.73 billion) by the 2020 end, with plans to refinance 20% of the Kingdom’s residential mortgage market by 2025. However, access to sustainable financing solutions remains crucial in achieving this goal.
The Saudi Central Bank has been instrumental in the growth of the real estate sector by providing support. The bank has reduced the minimum down payment requirement for property purchases from 30% to 5% of the purchase price. The number of banks offering home loans has also increased, thanks to the bank’s efforts.
The Kingdom has been making efforts to enhance the private sector’s participation in the construction of affordable, secure, and conveniently located housing and improving access to financing.
Saudi Arabia will require the construction of around 1.2 million new homes in the next ten years to achieve a housing inventory of 4.96 million houses by 2030.