Mid-income housing shortage major issue in Mideast

The vast majority of developments delivered in MENA over the last five years have been aimed at affluent households, a report said, highlighting the social and economic impact of a marked shortfall in the supply of middle-income housing.

JLL, a real estate investment consultant, has published a special report titled Middle-Income Housing on the housing situation as related to this segment of the market in the MENA region. The report, second in line a first produced in 2011, reviews three key regional markets, i.e. Riyadh and Jeddah in KSA, Cairo in Egypt and Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE.

The report suggesting that significant efforts are needed to address the current imbalance, outlines that this shortage is an important and consistent issue across all three major MENA markets of Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE.

The report after thoroughly defining each country’s ‘Middle-income’ Housing possibilities engages in examining each country’s Shortage of ‘middle-income’ housing situations and finally proposing solutions leading to overcoming the challenges to each middle-income population housing demand.

Craig Plumb, head of Research at JLL-MENA, highlighting several examples of best practice that offer some hope that changes are already beginning to take root, said: “Whilst none of these solutions are easy, we believe that working together, governments and developers can address the shortfall that JLL has identified in this report,” adding:

“Governments around the region have started to allocate significant financial resources to encourage more development of middle-income housing, but more needs to be done. We believe there is a need to re-think the existing relationship between government and the real estate development industry to create more affordable housing that middle-income families can afford. “We also recommend more innovative planning and design initiatives to create more attractive, environmentally sustainable and cohesive communities as well as accessible financing, empowering middle income families to take a stake in their future,” he added.