(MENAFN - Arab News) International and Saudi housing experts will join heads at the Jeddah Economic Forum today to find ways to ease the acute housing problem in the Kingdom. The event, to be opened by Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, will have eight sessions.
"The burning issue not only in the Kingdom and the Gulf countries but also the world over is shortage of homes," said Chairman of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Saleh Kamel in a statement.
According to data from the Real Estate Committee of the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, real estate investments in 2012 rose to 45 percent in Makkah alone, compared to 55 percent in the remaining regions of the Kingdom.
Jeddah's population has doubled over the last 25 years to 3.6 million, and this growing population coupled with limited housing supply is expected to drive prices and sustain demand.
An additional 2 million units, planned to be in place by 2015, are not expected to meet the demand.
According to the NCB, the total housing stock is expected to expand further from 4.6 million units in 2010. During the next 10 years, 2.4 million units will be added, with annual demand rising from 195,000 in 2011 to 264,000 units by 2020.
"The event has been carefully planned at the highest standards so that it becomes a national model for economic development," Abdullah Dahlan, a JCCI member and member of the executive council of the JEF, said.