View of Riyadh's Kingdom Tower

Rolling out first in Jizan, the units will start at SAR 500,000; all neighbourhood services will be taken care of by the ministry, along with the maintenance of the units themselves for 10 years, Okaz reported.

Some 60 percent of Saudi Arabia’s 20 million citizens still live in rented accommodation, with a fast-growing, young and marriageable population requiring their own homes.

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To meet their needs, three million more housing units will be needed by 2040, and a million by 2020 alone – some 130,000 a year. Demand is highest in the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Mecca, Al Khobar and Dammam.

Owned property is highly desirable – but still out of the reach of most. Rents have risen up to 20 percent due to high land prices and construction costs, as well as strict bank qualifications.

A new Saudi mortgage law was recently announced to encourage banks to lend more towards property purchases, with hopes of doubling the market to SAR 120 billion annually in the next decade.

Currently more than 285 real estate projects, worth SAR 260 billion, are either under way or being planned.