The Struggle to Find Affordable Housing in Riyadh

Expatriates in Riyadh are struggling to find housing and when they do find it is prohibitively expensive, reports Angus McDowall for Reuters.

But if housing is a problem for expats in Riyadh then it is a crisis for the locals across the country. It is estimated that only 30% of Saudis own their home. In a special report from 2010 Reuters asked if Saudi Arabia can fix its housing time bomb. A new Ministry of Housing was established in March 2011 to tackle the issue.

David O. Robinson, IMF mission chief to Saudi Arabia, said last year that “the housing issue is being addressed on both the demand and the supply sides,” and that they hope this would helps resolve the issue.

IMF reported earlier this year that the Saudi government allocated almost two-thirds of a combined $110 billion fiscal package to a multi-year project to build 500,000 affordable housing units. The government has also allocated an additional $11 billion to the Real Estate Development Fund to increase the housing loans available to citizens.