Ejar system ‘fails’ as rents continue to rise

Updated 21 September 2015
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Ejar system ‘fails’ as rents continue to rise

JEDDAH: It has been three years since the launch of the electronic portal “Ejar,” but citizens and residents continue to face the problems of skyrocketing rents for houses.
The Ministry of Housing has also failed to provide housing units to thousands of citizens in all regions of the country, a local newspaper reported on Saturday.
Ejar was launched with much enthusiasm on June 27, 2012. The ministry had claimed it would find comprehensive solutions to problems pertaining to the housing sector, control manipulation in prices and establish a just and fair relationship between tenants and landlords. It had also promised that there would be a balance between demand and supply.
The move then looked like a savior for millions of citizens whose budgets were strained in the absence of a regulation to protect the tenants from price manipulation.
However, the Ejar system remained literally inactive, although the ministry had said that it would be gradually implemented in three phases before its final application on the real estate sector.
“Real estate offices were supposed to display the housing units available on rent, along with their locations electronically. However, many of these offices are found to be indulging in unfair practices,” the newspaper said.
Meanwhie, the ministry has so far distributed only 2,000 residential units in Jazan, Qasim and Madinah, but there are many incomplete housing projects. Some of these projects were launched four years ago, the newspaper said.


Website launched to support housing project in Saudi Arabia

The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Housing are working together to provide the necessary services for citizens from different social classes. (SPA)
Updated 42 min 25 sec ago
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Website launched to support housing project in Saudi Arabia

  • Real estate financing for January hit SR4.7 billion, and coming months were expected to see even bigger figures, Al-Hogail told Reuters news agency on the sidelines of a housing conference in Riyadh

RIYADH: A new website has been set up to support a housing project for 10,000 units in the Kingdom.
Housing Minister Majid Al-Hogail, and Commerce and Investment Minister Majid Al-Qassabi on Sunday launched Benaa Housing, which will help construction companies and contractors contribute to a development program in the Kingdom.
Benaa Housing aims to speed up the process of building 10,000 housing units in various parts of Saudi Arabia by enabling small and medium enterprises in the construction sector to access and contribute to projects and opportunities. The estimated cost of the project is SR3.5 billion ($910 million).
“The Ministry of Housing is always keen to provide adequate housing, solutions, and services suitable to all families, especially the beneficiaries of the Housing Development Program in all regions of the Kingdom,” Al-Hogail said.
Al-Qassabi said the new platform would generate more business opportunities for small and medium enterprises and provide suitable apartments for middle-class and lower-income families.
“The Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Housing are working together to provide the necessary services for citizens from different social classes and groups, and the new platform is the fruit of these efforts,” he added.
Earlier this month, the housing minister said he expected investments in the real estate financing sector to reach between SR60 billion and SR80 billion this year.
Real estate financing for January hit SR4.7 billion, and coming months were expected to see even bigger figures, Al-Hogail told Reuters news agency on the sidelines of a housing conference in Riyadh.
Saudi home ownership was growing between 6 and 7 percent annually, he said, adding that he hoped to raise home ownership to 15,000 new households per month by 2020, from a little over 10,000 per month now.
The ministry aims to increase housing ownership through policy and stimulating the private sector, according to its website.
The challenges facing the ministry are the limited availability of suitable units for all parts of the population; difficulty in accessing adequate housing finance; the inefficiency of the real estate sector and heavy reliance on government funding.
“Even though 47 percent of Saudi families already own their homes, we aim to increase this rate by 5 percentage points by 2020,” the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 reform plan states. Vision 2030 also aims to speed up construction and provide Saudis with high-quality, competitively priced housing, and to stimulate localization of the country’s construction industry.