RIYADH: Public Investment Fund-owned real estate company ROSHN is looking to triple its building rate as it seeks to become the biggest residential developer in the Gulf Cooperation Council region by 2025, according to its CEO David Grover.
Speaking to Arab News at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, Grover said the growth is part of the firm’s drive towards helping to realize the Saudi government’s vision of raising the percentage of home ownership to 70 percent as part of the Vision 2030 initiative.
A report by global accounting firm KPMG released in September pointed out that the current homeownership rate in Saudi Arabia is just above 62 percent.
Reflecting on the future direction of the firm, Grover said: “We're already one of the biggest housing developers in the Kingdom by volume. I imagine you're going to see two or three times the output from ROSHN in the next couple of years.
“Certainly by 2025, in 18 months, two years time (we) will be outstripping the size of any residential developer, anywhere, certainly in the GCC, and probably at the moment in the world, such is the scale of what we're doing."
He also expressed his excitement about how ROSHN will see its first development, SEDRA, occupied within weeks.
SEDRA, located just south of King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, is a walkable community, with green spaces, cycle tracks, hospitals, medical centers, schools, mosques, and retail outlets.
"Literally in a few weeks the first people will move into that completed community. We've developed 3000 homes, sold 3000 homes, and then within the next few months, it will be fully occupied, which is quite exciting," said Grover.
He went on to explain that ROSHN is promoting an urban community lifestyle, with buildings that are properly equipped to address environmental concerns.
"We're changing the way people live, from the point of view that rather than living in a community, or in houses where they're all behind high walls, we're making them open.” said the CEO, adding: “These communities are designed around, being able to move between your home and your local mosque and your local kindergarten, your local school in between five and 15 minutes walk.”
Elaborating on the developer's sustainable agenda, Grover explained that the firm is trying to encourage people to move away from car use, and instead use e-scooters and e-bikes.
Sales for the second phase of ROSHN's SEDRA went on sale in mid-October. Spread over more than 3.4 km, the homes in SEDRA’s second phase are deemed as highly efficient as they are projected to account for an estimated 18 percent drop in energy costs as well as a 17 percent decline in the cost of water.
The real estate sector in the Kingdom is one of the vital pillars of the country's economy, with real estate activities accounting for 14.5 percent of the non-oil economy during the second quarter of 2022.