Saudi Gazette reports that King Abdullah has ordered that certain state-owned land be given over for housing development and that ‘soft’ loans be made to people seeking to buy plots in order to build homes on them.
One of the major drivers of high property values in Saudi Arabia has been that much land is currently held by the state and members of the Al-Saud. The land lies fallow, held as investments that can be cashed in as land values continue to climb into the future. While is is indeed a great thing that state-owned land is now going to become available, it would help for the King to apply moral suasion to encourage his relations to start disgorging at least some of their properties.
‘Historic decision’: King’s orders on land grants, home loans widely welcomed
Saudi Gazette report
MAKKAH — The order issued by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to grant citizens plots of land that have already been developed and soft loans to construct their homes has been widely welcomed by citizens and government officials.
The King has asked the Ministry of Municipal and Rural affairs to hand over all pieces of land that have already been developed and the plots ready to be constructed to the Ministry of Housing to give to citizens along with construction loans.
Under the royal order, the municipalities and localities will also hand over all land in their possession to the Housing Ministry.
Both citizens and officials were unanimous that the decision will enable all citizens to have their own houses and will greatly reduce the current land prices, which have skyrocketed.
“The decision will realize the dreams of citizens to have their own private homes,” Makkah Mayor Osama Al-Bar told local daily Al-Madinah on Wednesday. He said the Makkah municipality has already started procedures to give all the land under its possession to the Housing Ministry.
Al-Bar said the municipality had already handed over 4.3 million square meters of land at the Crown Prince plot south of the holy city to the ministry in addition to various pieces of land in other areas, including Jammoum.