Total Area: 2,149,690 km²
GDP (in million USD): 434,440
Saudi Arabia, officially known as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the largest Arab state in Western Asia by land area and the second-largest in the Arab world.
The residential property market in Saudi Arabia remains strong. House prices are rising. Property demand is escalating. Real estate developers are bullish.
During the year to end-Q4 2011, the average price of single-family dwellings (villas and duplexes) in Riyadh, the capital, rose by 9% to SAR3,150 (US$840) per square meter (sq. m)., according to Colliers International GCC. Likewise, the average price of multi-family dwellings (apartments) increased by 8% to SAR2,860 (US$762) per sq. m. over the same period.
In Jeddah, the average sales price of single-family dwellings (villas and duplexes) soared by 15% to SAR3,980 (US$1,061) per sq. m. in the year to end-Q4 2011 while the average sales price of multi-family dwellings (apartments) rose by 14% to SAR2,450 (US$653) per sq. m.
With the government's massive investment for the construction of affordable housing, in addition to the passing of the new mortgage law and the establishment of the Ministry for Housing, Saudi's housing market boom is expected to continue for years.
A 2000 Real Estate Law allowed legally-resident non-Saudis to own real estate for their private residence, provided they get a license from the Ministry of Interior. The law also allows real estate ownership by foreign investors in order to conduct their business activities, and for the accommodation of their employees, with permission from the Ministry of Interior. To prevent speculation, five years must elapse before property can be sold.
However, real property ownership by foreigners is forbidden in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Non-Saudi Muslims can only obtain leases of up to two years in these cities. Leases are renewable for the same period.