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Mortgage law ‘creates positive twist to real estate industry’

Sunday 20 January 2013

RIYADH: Abdullah bin Saeed Al-Mobti, chairman of the Council of Saudi Chambers, inaugurated the Riyadh International Urban Development and Real Estate Investment Event — Cityscape Riyadh, yesterday.
A total of 40 exhibitors representing key real estate developers from the Kingdom and the region are displaying their products and services at the show.
In an attempt to fill the gap between supply and demand in the Kingdom, a good number of home finance companies are also taking part in the show, which is expected to draw 10,000 visitors in the coming days.
Speaking on the occasion, Al-Mobti said the exhibition reflects a new strategy and a qualitative leap for the development of real estate investment in the Kingdom. “It also opens a new horizon for the implementation of real estate projects from public and private sectors to strengthen the domestic market and give boost and transparency for investment opportunities in the relevant field.
Al-Mobti urged engineers and architects to complete their construction on schedule and also follow the safety standards and state-of the-art technology in the construction programs. He said that the construction program needs more work force to complete the projects in time.
“Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency’s recent announcement toward finalizing regulations on the newly approved Mortgage Law has created a positive twist to the Saudi real estate market and especially among finance companies,” said Hussain Al-Harthy, managing director, National Exhibitions Company. He added that companies are gearing up to launch operations in the Kingdom, while others are preparing to offer new products and services in anticipation of the increased demand that will be generated from the Mortgage Law, which is yet to be announced.
Companies, such as Dar Al-Tamlik, Abdul Latif Jameel United Installment Real Estate, and Samba Financial Group, are some of the companies taking advantage of the massive opportunities available at the Riyadh Urban Development and Real Estate Investment Event — Cityscape Riyadh.
Kinan International Real Estate Development is a prime example, which utilized its presence at the Cityscape Riyadh to announce the launch of its inaugural residential project in the capital city, Masharef Hills. Strategically located in the northwest of Riyadh, the project occupies a total of 1 million sq.m. and provides a unique living experience through its well designed units and vast greenery, setting it apart from other projects.
“We have already completed work on the infrastructure and are currently finalizing the model villas and sales center in preparation to start sales in early 2013, after obtaining the final official permits,” Nidal Jamjoum, CEO of Kinan, said.
Recently, Kinan also announced the launch of phase 3 of its flagship project in Jeddah, after successfully selling phases one and two, accounting for more than 75 percent of the entire project aimed at targeting the mid-income segment.
“Cityscape Riyadh represents a unique opportunity to engage with our customers in addition to supporting the Government’s initiatives to bridge the gap between supply and demand toward increasing home ownership in Saudi Arabia,” Jamjoum added
The real estate summit workshop started yesterday with a keynote address by Saudi Amalaq, vice chairman of KSSG Investment Company. He pointed out that the economic reforms are in full swing and they contribute to the country’s economic and political stability.

He added that the government efforts at rehabilitating and building its infrastructure is underpinned by robust oil market that will add a further SR 500 billion surplus to this year’s budget.
Focusing on the residential real estate market, Nabil Al-Mubarak, CEO of Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH), shed light on the Kingdom’s emerging consumer credit market and how SIMAH is enhancing the overall system to allow investors and citizens to build credit in supporting home financing. He explained that one important aspect is providing the necessary statistics to help developers better plan what to build and what to realistically expect. By better planning, he said, investors can immensely improve their credit rating in the emerging Saudi market.
Commenting on much needed solutions to solving the current housing crisis, Zuhair Hamzah, executive manager at Tamlik Company, said: “As issues evolve and rise to the urgency level, solutions must be dynamic, swift and highly effective. Normally, the success of efforts to solve a problem depends on the components of the solution.”
He added that solving the affordable housing problem in Saudi Arabia is no exception as it is heavily dependent on the focused vision of both the private and public sectors toward this challenge that could be achieved either jointly or independently, but must be successful in yielding fundamentally satisfactory results.