RIYADH: The Saudi Real Estate Refinance Company (SRC) has announced SR4 billion ($1.07 billion) in long-term sukuk issuances, providing liquidity to the Kingdom’s housing market.
The real estate finance company, owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), recently launched a SR10 billion sukuk program targeting local investors.
The latest issuance was offered in seven- and 10-year tenors and was part of a private offering to Saudi-based institutional investors.
“The successful Sukuk issuance demonstrates confidence among the investor community and trust in a robust housing market in the Kingdom and more broadly a resilient Saudi economy,” Majed Al-Hogail, the minister of housing and chairman of the SRC, said in a statement.
Al-Hogail said the sukuk program will help the Kingdom achieve its housing goals under Vision 2030, where mortgages are more affordable and accessible to Saudi citizens.
“The latest sovereign-guaranteed offering, underpinned by favorable cost of funding and terms, will further provide liquidity to the Saudi housing market that helps our citizens climb the housing ladder,” he said.
“This issuance will also contribute to the realization of the Public Investment Fund’s strategy, a key driver in promoting the growth of the Saudi economy and diversifying sources of income by launching new sectors, including a secondary market for real estate financing,” Al-Hogail added.
The minister noted a strong investor interest in the SRC issuance, attracting an orderbook in excess of SR8 billion, which represented an oversubscription of 2.15 times. This also demonstrated SRC’s “growing presence and importance as a catalyst” in the Saudi housing sector, HSBC Saudi Arabia’s Faisal Qadri said.
The SRC was established by the PIF in 2017 to be the pillar of Saudi Arabia housing market by acting as a catalyst for accessible and affordable home financing solutions. When it was launched, it set a target of 10 percent of total residential mortgage loans by the end of 2020 and 20 percent over the next few years.
Under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 plan, the government is aiming to increase homeownership in the Kingdom to 70 percent, up from 45 percent in 2017.
According to the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), the total number of new residential mortgage loans approved in the Kingdom in January 2021 grew 35 percent year-on-year.
The total value of mortgages surging 60 percent year-on-year to SR16.4 billion in the first month of 2021, SAMA said. According to a report by the US-Saudi Business Council (USSBC), the number of new residential mortgages for individuals in 2020 totalled SR136.2 billion, an 83 percent year-on-year increase.
The report also found that the number of families moving into homes through the Ministry of Housing’s Sakani affordable housing program grew 27 percent year-on-year to 138,300.
“The three main factors that will drive demand for housing are concentrated on a growing young population, rising income per capita, and the downsizing of the Saudi average household size,” Albara’a Alwazir, an economist at USSBC, said in the report.
“The evolution of these three factors will lead to the need for additional affordable housing options to meet pent-up demand. To reduce the supply and demand imbalance, the Kingdom will need to construct an additional 1.2 million homes over the next 10 years to reach a total housing stock of 4.96 million units by 2030. Demand will approximately grow from 99,600 units in 2021 to 153,000 units by 2030 with an average of 124,000 units over the next 10 years,” he added.