The Middle East has remained resilient despite the uncertain global economic times. As a result, the trends in RE technology investments in the Middle East remain to be an important insight for potential investors. The region owes its success to the real estate sector which contributes 25% of the total outbound investment in the region. For instance, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is leading in terms of the planned investment in construction at 64% of the total USD1.36 trillion in the region. UAE takes a second position with USD 293 billion in planned investment. The positive growth prospects have resulted in increased access to the internet and the use of smartphones. This indicates an increase in technological development in the region. However, the demand for digital services in the real estate sector continues to increase without equal response in terms of supply. Here are some of the trends to watch in the Real Estate (RE) technology investment in the Middle East.
Statistics of the global real estate market show that:
- 44% of real estate customers looked for properties online
- 17% of the customers contacted a real estate agent
- 11% reflect online surfing of the home buying process and;
- Only 6% drove by home and neighbourhoods
Data doesn’t lie! As apparent in the above statistics, there are huge investment opportunities in real estate technology in the Middle East to meet the glaring demand. This will also ensure the region is aligned with the global RE technology trends.
Progress of the RE Sector in the global RE Transparency Index (GRETI)
For decades, the countries in MENA failed to enter the transparency tier leading to difficulties in attracting foreign investments. However, the trend has since changed with significant improvements in terms of the GRETI. For instance. The Kingdom entered the Semi-transparent Group in the same year. With the progress in technological investments, the Kingdom will soon lead the transition as one of the most transparent real estate markets in the region. For example, the Kingdom announced a USD 4.6 billion investment in future technologies.
Slow adoption of RE technology
Real estate technologies that are increasingly used to change the operations in the sector include:
- Online Property listing
- Virtual Tours/Virtual Reality
- Machine Learning and Data Analytics
These are part of the technological development that enhances the efficiency, attractiveness, and competitiveness of the real estate market.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has however demonstrated considerable improvements as a global PropTech market with new startups such as Prime Advisory (PA) leading in PropTech consultancy services. Therefore, the trends in RE technology investment in the Middle East show a growth potential that is yet to be fully exploited.