Saudi mortgage law approved by Shura council

03 July 2008
The Shura Council in Saudi Arabia has approved a draft of the country’s mortgage law that is expected to open up a lucrative income stream for the banking system and give more Saudi nationals access to owning their own homes.

Banks in the kingdom have been eagerly anticipating the law, which has been in development for nearly a decade. It is estimated that only one in five Saudis owns a home.

However, there has been some criticism of the law. Abdul-Rahman Zamil, a member of the Shura Council, says it will only benefit “large real estate firms, large real estate investors, financial institutions and the middle class”.

The kingdom’s banks have already begun to develop products to take advantage of the law once it is passed.

Jean Marion, chief executive officer of Banque Saudi Fransi, says: “When you start a housing loan, you have a relationship with a client that lasts for a long time. There are a lot of other products that will be presented to them during that time.”

The law has still to be approved by the Council of Ministers.

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