RIYADH — Abdullah Alhammad, CEO of the Real Estate General Authority (REGA), acknowledged that real estate prices are high owing to a gap between demand and supply in Saudi Arabia. Attending Al-Liwan program on Rotana Khalejia Television channel, the authority chief stated that foreigners will be allowed to own real estate soon.

The authority is not satisfied with the high real estate prices, and this rise is negative for the real estate sector as a whole Alhammad said while noting that the real estate market is an open market and it is subject to supply and demand. “The rise in real estate prices is negative for all parties, as the economy is in continuous rotation, and the state is working to enable demand in a way that achieves economic balance for the real estate sector.”

He stated that the largest percentage of those who seek real estate today do not have purchasing power, and the price of the property today is higher than the purchasing power, and therefore it is not easy to obtain a suitable property. “The investors were also affected by the high prices of the real estate, due to the high prices of the land, and the landowners became unable to make easier transactions, and when the landowner wanted to sell, he reduces prices in order to be able to sell it,” he pointed out.

Alhammad stressed that the new law for ownership of a real estate by foreigners is in its final stages, and will be made public in a short period. The new law will be broader and more comprehensive than the current law for real estate ownership, he pointed out.

The authority chief stated that foreigners will be allowed to own real estate of all kinds including commercial, residential, and agricultural in accordance with the regulations. “The initial reading of the law shows that it allows foreigners to own property everywhere in the Kingdom, including Makkah and Madinah. The negative effects of foreign ownership of the property were monitored in advance so as to avoid them, and solutions were developed for all problems and unacceptable practices,” he said.

Regarding the move to impose fees on white lands, Alhammad said that the fees started imposing in 2017, while noting that the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs began working on proposals to increase or raise the efficiency of fees by a further hike of SR10 percent.

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