Saudi Arabias Housing Ministry attempts to curb the kingdoms housing shortage
- Housing Ministry announces 25,500 more housing units
- Ministry announces the development of 40,100 housing units in April
- Tax on unused land expected to boost real estate
Saudi Arabias Housing Ministry has announced that it will construct an additional 25,500 housing units across the country.
The ministry has also said it will encourage local developers to cooperate with international companies for the development of several key public housing projects in the coming months.
This comes after the ministry signed agreements with 13 local developers to build approximately 14,600 houses in three cities as part of the Housing Development 2 project (Tatweer Iskan 2).
Local media reports say the project involves the construction of 6,800 units in Jeddah, as well as 3,145 and 4,700 units in Madinah and Dammam respectively.
It is understood that the developers involved include Al-Hakmiah, Tamkeen, Bin Sultan Group, Bwabat al-Dar, Mada al-Sharqia, Emdad Najed and Al-Qadeebi (all local).
According to government statistics, there are currently 750,000 families eligible for public housing. Despite a $67bn plan in 2011 to build 500,000 homes over several years, Saudi Arabias poorer citizens have suffered from rising rental prices in cities such as Riyadh and Jeddah.
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have decided to introduce a tax on undeveloped land across the kingdom. The ministry says the policy targets unused, privately owned land across the country that can be better utilised to solve the kingdoms housing problems. While a topic of discussion for many years, it was not until September 2014 that the taxation measure was referred to the Supreme Economic Council for review and details of the new tax have not been finalised.