Knight Frank Saudi Arabia Housing Survey 2020

The survey was designed to bridge the gap in the understanding of effective demand and supply


Knight Frank’s Saudi Arabia National Housing Survey is a detailed quantitative and qualitative survey, which highlights the residential demand preferences of owner-occupiers, renters and those living with their families across Saudi Arabia’s major cities.

Riyadh, KSA - Over recent times despite shifts in demographics, a reduction in household sizes and on-going cultural reform, we have seen very little change in the nature of housing supply across the kingdom. The majority of new stock is centred towards large villas on the periphery of the ever-expanding urban boundaries of Saudi Arabia’s major cities. This type of product is one which the new demographic cohort will struggle to afford or have any desire to occupy.

More so, affordability, which is often used as a precursor for estimating effective demand, is often looked at as a singular quantitative matter. This arguably provides limited reliable information to underpin any conclusions when estimating effective demand.

To bridge the gap in this understanding, Knight Frank has undertaken its inaugural Saudi Arabia National Housing Survey. The survey aims to strengthen our understanding of the quantitative and qualitative factors underpinning effective demand on a national and city level across the Kingdom.

Taimur Khan, Associate Partner and Head of Research, Knight Frank Middle East commented: “Saudi Arabia has seen rapid changes in its, where its population has increased by over 520% in the 50 years to 2020 and where over the same period its rate of urbanisation has increased from 49% to 84%. In addition to this, the demographic profile has also changed, where today an estimated 58% of its citizen population is below the age of 30. Despite these shifts, we have seen very little change in the nature of housing supply. This backdrop has meant that affordability has become one of the most prevalent challenges facing the Saudi Arabian housing sector and our survey provides potential solutions to tackle these challenges.”  


• 56% of those renting said they were looking to buy a property in the next five years.

• Demand for properties below SAR 1 million is highest.

• Whilst 51% of all respondents currently live in an apartment, 61% are looking to purchase a villa when they next move. We estimate that at least a third of the market still retain a preference for apartment living.

•  Over 62% of potential buyers surveyed would be likely or very likely to purchase an off-plan property.

•  Our respondents suggested that the most important attribute they would require in a home would be a garden, closely followed by a modern design.


Using the data from Knight Frank’s National Housing Survey we are able to identify critical factors which must be met to capture the majority of demand.

Stefan Burch, Partner and General Manager, Knight Frank Saudi Arabia commented: “Through advising the public and private sector for a number of years we are fully aware of the pent up demand for suitable residential stock within the kingdom. To date the challenge has been understanding exactly where the parameters of demand lie. Having commission this extensive survey we have been able to observe the type and price of residential stock that will respond to the majority of existing demand which will, in turn, assist stakeholders when considering participation in the residential sector.”

For all media & PR enquiries, please contact:
Thomas Farmer, 

Knight Frank has grown to become the world’s largest privately owned global property agency and consultancy company and has a strong presence in the Middle East with offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia.

Together with its New York-based affiliate Newmark, Knight Frank has an impressive global footprint network across 60 territories, 520+ offices and 21,500 property professionals and as the world’s leading international property consultant, they continue to build on their long-term global presence across the residential and commercial property and service sectors.

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