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RIYADH, March 6 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s housing minister said on Wednesday he expects investments in the real estate financing sector to reach between 60 billion Saudi riyals and 80 billion riyals ($21.33 billion) in 2019.
Real estate financing for January hit 4.7 billion riyals, and coming months were expected to see even bigger figures, Majed al-Hogail told Reuters on the sidelines of a housing conference in Riyadh.
The ministry wants 60 percent of Saudis to own homes by 2020. It is working with local banks to facilitate financing and help developers increase the supply of affordable units.
The private sector is now financing 100 percent of housing market needs, up from 35 percent previously, the minister said on stage at the conference. He said banks provide 93 percent of real estate financing, with real estate financing firms covering the rest.
He also said he hopes to raise home ownership to 15,000 new households per month by 2020, from a little over 10,000 per month now.
“The average supply of housing units in the Saudi real estate market is between 350 to 375 thousand units across the Kingdom,” he told Reuters. Ninety thousand families access the market yearly, he said, and the government hopes to raise the percentage of home ownership by 7 percent annually.
The Saudi government wants to increase activity in the real estate market as it moves to revitalise the economy, and is taking steps to reform the sector as part of its Vision 2030 strategic plan.
$1 = 3.7502 riyals Reporting By Marwa Rashad Writing By Maha El Dahan and Nafisa Eltahir Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Andrew Heavens