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Expatriate Healthcare News: Riyadh presents housing problems for expats

Riyadh in Saudi Arabia presents a challenge to expatriates moving to the destination, as it is difficult to find good housing at a decent price.

As the Middle East's most booming economy the demand for accommodation is high and many expats opt to live in compounds, reports Reuters.

These residences have a number of benefits, such as offering extra protection, but also being exempt from the extreme Islamic regulations which are in force elsewhere.

There are also drawbacks however, such as the fact that rents on housing compounds have risen by ten per cent a year for the past four years, making them a particularly expensive option.

Add to this increased demand, leading to long waiting lists, and it becomes a difficult situation where housing is hard to come by.

Anyone moving abroad is advised to look into such issues as these and put their name on a waiting list at the earliest possible opportunity in order to increase their chances of securing a place.

Expats can now expect to pay 250,000 riyals (£41,000) a year for one of the better three bedroomed villas in one of these apartments, although the increase in demand has led to plans for a number of new projects to be planned, but these are not yet built.

John Harris, Saudi Arabia director at Jones Lang LaSalle, predicts that around 3,000 units will come onto the market in the coming two years.

He said: "It has become a real challenge for expats to find a place to live on their budget. We're going to see a substantial amount of compound supply coming on stream, which will relieve the pressure somewhat. But there's obviously a huge backlog of demand."

The majority of the new compounds which are to be built will help to provide accommodation to those expats in need of it, but there will be little let up in terms of price, as they will all be aimed at the higher end of the market.

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