Jeddah needs almost a million housing units over the next 20 years. This can be achieved through the construction of low-cost housing units, says a strategic plan prepared by the Jeddah municipality.
The plan has been released to coincide with the Jeddah International Real State, Finance and Housing Exhibition 2010 (JIREX 2010), which opens on Monday at the Jeddah Center for Forums and Events. The five-day exhibition has attracted more than 60 real estate and investment companies. According to Ahmad Al-Muhandis, chairman of the Exhibition’s Organizing Committee, 500 experts from the private and public sector as well as a large number of visitors are expected at the exhibition. JIREX 2010, in its eighth year, has emerged as the most prominent economic event for experts and specialists not only in Saudi Arabia but in the entire Gulf region and Arab countries.
Al-Muhandis said Saudi Arabia’s real estate market was least affected by the global economic downturn, though the Gulf region as a whole did suffer. Some major projects were either shelved or closed as a consequence of the ongoing crisis, he noted. The Jeddah municipality’s plan is based on present shortages and future requirements. It says currently there is a shortage of 283,000 housing units including 80,000 in the low-income group.
The plan calls for building 151,600 units for accommodating people living in underdeveloped areas and 51,500 units to meet the demand of population growth. With regard to future requirement, the strategic plan foresees a need of 570,000 units in the next 20 years.
The reason for increasing housing demand, according to the municipality, is the presence of a large number of expatriate workers and inflow of people from villages and cities, besides population growth.
Kingdomwide accommodation needs have been estimated at more than five million new housing units by 2020. The plan says Saudi Arabia will require $640 billion investment in real estate over the next 20 years