Saudi mortgages jump in January despite global pandemic property pessimism

Almost 80% of the mortgages that are issued in the Kingdom go towards villas

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. Buildings are seen from the top of Mount Al-Noor in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia January 16, 2016.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Buildings are seen from the top of Mount Al-Noor in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia January 16, 2016.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
 
DUBAI: New Saudi mortgages jumped by more than a third compared to a year earlier according to the latest data from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

Homebuyers shrugged off negative economic sentiment to snap up homes as pent up demand for new properties pushed up the number of mortgage contracts by almost 33,000 - worth some SR16.4 billion ($4.4 billion).

Some 98 percent of the contracts were arranged through banks with the remaining 2 percent sold by financing companies, SAMA said in a statement carried by SPA.

Property markets worldwide have been rattled by the coronavirus pandemic as people have held back from committing to big purchases because of fears over their job security. The Kingdom's residential real estate market has bucked that broader trend because of strong underlying demand and the comparatively recent arrival of a structured mortgage market.

Almost 80 percent of the mortgages that are issued in the Kingdom go towards villas.

Last year the Saudi government removed the 15 percent of value added tax on property transactions to help counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That helped to support house prices in key property markets including Riyadh and Jeddah.

Residential sale prices in Riyadh registered an annual increase of 2 percent for apartments and villas last year according to data from JLL, the international property broker.

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