JLL has issued a statement announcing that 2017 was a year of transition for Saudi Arabia. The professional services firm notes that social and economic reforms marked a turning point for the Kingdom and paved the way for economic and real estate growth.
The government in the Kingdom took measures to reduce fiscal debt in 2017 and introduced a stimulus package, while simultaneously waiving fees for small businesses and investors according to JLL. These initiatives are expected to bolster the construction of housing, backed by a 2018 spending budget of SAR 978bn. The proposed budget is the largest ever and represents a 5.6% increase on actual spending in 2017.
“With the introduction of various social and economic reforms in Saudi Arabia, we embraced the transitional phase of the economy in 2017, in line with the National Transformation Program and the Saudi Vision 2030,” said Eng. Ibrahim Albuloushi, country head, KSA, JLL.
Oxford Economics forecasts a return to positive real GDP growth (2%) in 2018, following a contraction of 0.7% recorded in 2017. According to JLL’s KSA real estate report, this has pushed investors, entrepreneurs and businesses to explore new opportunities and areas of investment with the country.
The lifting of the ban on women driving is expected to create a surge in demand in the auto industry and its support sectors. This, combined with other reforms are expected to translate into positive economic growth.
“The year ahead focuses on the implementation phase of the reforms highlighting growth in the tourism sector where the hospitality and retail sectors are poised to benefit, as the government eases visa requirements for tourists,” added Albuloushi.