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Do not expect to start a buy-to-let business in Saudi Arabia. Expats buying property in Saudi Arabia are typically long-term residents who are purchasing their principal residence. Mortgaging is still resorted to only rarely.
In practice, expats who live in Saudi Arabia are keener to invest in property outside of Saudi Arabia, mostly in their home country, Egypt or the United Arab Emirates. Keeping real estate investments in the Middle East tends to be more popular among Asian or African investors.
Property rights are not that well protected in Saudi Arabia. This is particularly a cause for concern when you have something to enforce through the Saudi court system. When it comes to finding housing market statistics, finding reliable, up-to-date statistics may appear to be quite a challenge.
Foreign Property Investment in Saudi Arabia
Under Saudi law, foreign nationals may purchase property in Saudi Arabia, providing:
In order to prevent speculation, foreign nationals may not resell their properties before a minimum five-year holding period.
In the cities of Mecca and Medina, foreigners may not own any land or property, though prohibition is currently under review.
Saudi Housing Market Generally
Fundamentally, Saudi Arabia is a country with high growth rates, a sharp population growth, soaring construction costs, a big housing shortage, high yields, rising rents, and still low prices by international standards. This all points to a long-term above-inflation house price boom in Saudi Arabia.
Home ownership is not common in Saudi Arabia, as just about 35% of Saudis own their principal residence. This is often because mortgage regulations are so tight that you have to buy property in cash. Accordingly, many would-be Saudi first-time buyers have to keep renting unless they come from a wealthy family in the first place.
Mortgages have become more available in Saudi Arabia though; it is now possible to apply for a mortgage with reasonable terms.
Sections in FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS IN SAUDI ARABIA:
» Money Transfers for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Foreign Exchange for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Banking for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Pensions for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Investment for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Wealth Management for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Property Investment for Expats in Saudi Arabia
» Insurance for Expats in Saudi Arabia
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If you are considering moving to Saudi Arabia or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Saudi Arabia section including; details of immigration and visas, Saudi Arabian forums, Saudi Arabian event listings and service providers in Saudi Arabia.
From your safety to shopping, living in Saudi Arabia can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks. Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Saudi Arabia with relevant news and up-to-date information.
Working in Saudi Arabia can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Saudi Arabia, and general Saudi Arabian culture of the labour market.
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