Riyadh – MENA Herald: The long-term opportunities of the Saudi Arabian real estate sector – as well as the steps investors are taking to protect themselves in the current period of turbulence – will be reviewed at the forthcoming Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference, set to take place in Riyadh this May.

The sector, which is a major area of interest for residents and international financial institutions, will be discussed by a panel of industry experts in a special session at the 2016 event.

Economic turbulence has impacted every aspect of the real estate sector in 2016, from the construction industry, which has seen significant slowdowns in the opening months of the year, through to the residential and commercial sales sector. The Kingdom recorded real estate deals worth $6.58bn (SAR24.7bn) between February 10 and March 9, 2016 – a 20 percent decline on the corresponding period of 2015.

The health of the Kingdom’s economy also has a dramatic impact on the global real estate sector. According to JLL Saudi Arabia, Middle East investors purchased more than $11 billion of overseas real estate assets in 2015, and capital outflow expected is expected to decline significantly in 2016.

Richard Banks, Consulting Editor of Euromoney Conferences, said: “The real estate discussion is one of the most popular sessions every year at Euromoney Saudi Arabia, and 2016 will be particularly interesting due to the major changes experienced over the past 12 months. Our panel of experts will assess how significant the long-term impacts of the current slowdown will be, and look at the positive steps the government is taking to encourage sustainable growth in this sector.”

Debating the topic will be Imad Damrah, Managing Director of Colliers International Saudi Arabia and Amro Nahas, Head of Real Estate Investment of MASIC.

Areas under discussion by the panel will include pricing, demand, real estate regulation, and the impact of the changing economy on new investment structures in the Kingdom.

One of the most anticipated subjects to be discussed will be the impact of ‘White Land Tax’, which could have a regressive effect on land prices, which in turn will increase the level of real estate development activity for middle income housing across the Kingdom, which accounts for over 60 per cent of all Saudi Arabian households.

With senior representatives from some of the world’s leading banks in attendance, Euromoney Saudi Arabia conference will provide an ideal opportunity to review the real estate market of the Kingdom, and hear from leading executives from within the Kingdom on their views on its challenges and opportunities.