JEDDAH: A digital platform for buying and selling Saudi real estate that will launch before the end of this year will reduce errors, while increasing fairness, speed, and efficiency of property transactions.

The platform — similar to a real estate stock market — which will be free to use is almost completed and ready to launch during the last quarter of 2021.

It will expand further next year, to process five times more operations than the current operations on the market, Ahmed Al-Salman, supervisor general at the ministry, revealed in an interview with CNBC.

“This wouldn’t contradict real estate brokers, evaluators or whatsoever, as the platform would not cover these services in the meantime,” he added.

The new digital system is capable of adjusting the market operations which will be done electronically, avoiding previous errors that were caused by handmade operations, he explained.

Al-Salman also pointed out that there will be a system to evaluate the buyer’s purchasing ability before accepting orders. Once the order is done, they have 10 days to commit to it, in order to avoid manipulation attempts to lower or raise a property’s price.

The market is remarkably increasing, as operations jumped 70 percent in the last 7 months alone, year-on-year. Around 6,000 operations are performed daily with a value of about SR700 million.

“The transaction process will be easier and faster, the number of daily operations is expected to be rising," Al-Salman said.

The official also revealed that the ministry plans to digitize 100 million real estate documents by the end of 2022.

This plan was first announced in 2017 to be launched later in 2019, aiming at simplifying real estate fortune management procedure, through e-instruments and property ownerships e-transactions.

The amount of documents that were treated since the launching reached around 50 million documents, equivalent to around 100,000 documents a day.

The total number of real estate deeds around the Kingdom is around 15 to 18 million, out of which 4 million have been digitized, Al-Salman said.

He pointed out that around 40,000 transfers of property ownership have been completed since 2019 with a total value of SR8 billion, adding that the digital real estate transfer of ownership service is a strong base that will eventually lead to what is known as the real estate stock market.


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