(MENAFN - Arab News) Building of houses, which is continuing in and around Jeddah like in other parts of the Kingdom, needs to be further bolstered with the active participation of investors.
Even as the need for investment is being increasingly felt, local banks are imposing a set of "exaggerated" terms with regard to the funding of private housing projects.
Saleh Alamri, an engineer and expert in the field of real estate management, strategic planning and urban development, said the development of Jeddah was faced with a number of challenges. Among them is infrastructure, which needs to be renewed and updated, especially water pipes, drainage system, electricity, communication and roads, he said.
The city essentially needs to be reorganized so as to fulfill the dreams of businessmen, families and youth, he said.
Alamri said rising house rents, especially in the past six months, were mainly attributed to the increase in population.
The number of houses offered for rent are not meeting local market requirements,
as the demand for renting houses is going up.
The rates of vacant plots are also very high and for this reason the building of new houses would be very costly, Al-Amri pointed out.
Al-Amri said that the terms and conditions imposed by local banks were complicated. In addition, the cost of building material including cement, steel, electricity and sanitary was going up by 15 percent annually.
"For solving the housing problem, we must look for an economic housing technology by applying new methods of house building," he said.
In fact, applying new modes of houses is the responsibility of the Jeddah municipality and there is a pressing demand to apply such technologies.
Investors who are interested in urban development should be encouraged to help in making the application of such technologies a success.
We have to undertake new housing projects in remote areas and plan connecting them with main cities through railway and other mass transport facilities.
Such new housing projects should be provided with educational, industrial and medical facilities, he added.