RIYADH — In a survey by global property consultancy Knight Frank, NEOM has been identified as the most preferred Giga project among expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, with 29% expressing a desire to purchase homes there.

The survey, part of Knight Frank’s inaugural Destination Saudi report, places Jeddah Central and King Salman Park as the second and third choices, with preferences standing at 15% and 8%, respectively.

The comprehensive survey involved 241 expatriates, aiming to gauge their real estate investment interests within the Kingdom.

A significant portion of the respondents (56%) have resided in Saudi Arabia for over a decade, and a majority (76%) are employed in the private sector.

The interest among expatriates in NEOM's specific areas is notably divided, with The Line attracting 42%, and Sindalah Island 19%.

Despite high interest, budget considerations could present a challenge for both expatriates and developers.

The survey indicates that 87% of expatriate respondents have a budget under SR3.5 million, with 32% looking to spend below SR750,000.

This contrasts with the anticipated pricing for Giga project properties, which is expected to exceed $1 million.

However, 41% of those with budgets under $1 million remain interested, suggesting a willingness to adjust their financial plans.

The probability of making a residential purchase in a preferred Giga project remains high among expatriates, with 72% indicating they are likely to proceed with such investments.

The average budget for an expat purchasing a home in a Giga project stands at SR2.7 million, significantly higher than budgets allocated for properties elsewhere in the Kingdom.

Knight Frank’s analysis further reveals the substantial spending power within Riyadh’s expatriate community, estimated at SR3.2 billion ($863 million), highlighting the potential capital ready to be invested in the Giga projects.

When considering the premiums expatriates are willing to pay for living in a Giga project over a non-Giga project, the average premium stood at 5.7%, with 32% of respondents willing to pay a 2.5-5% premium.

High-earning expatriates, particularly those with monthly incomes over SR40,000, showed readiness to pay premiums of 5-7.5%. 

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