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House-hunters in Middle East switch online to search for property

Using the Internet is the most popular method of house-hunting in the Middle East, trumping traditional means including newspaper classifieds and word of mouth, according to a new report into the region’s property market.

The findings are contained in research from leading property website Lamudi, which released its first report on real estate in the emerging world. The report, Real Estate in the Emerging Markets, provides a comprehensive overview of the property sector in 16 countries, including Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

The report is based on a series of online surveys conducted with house-hunters and real estate agents in each country, as well as onsite data from Lamudi’s global network of websites. The research examines the habits of online property-seekers, while offering insights into the future of the property sector based on interviews and surveys with local real estate experts.

The agents survey revealed the extent to which the property sector in the Middle East has moved online. When it comes to searching for property, house hunters in Saudi Arabia are now regularly turning to the Web to look for real estate. Ninety-one percent of those surveyed by Lamudi said that the Internet was currently used to search for real estate. The second survey, which targeted Lamudi customers, examined trends among buyers and renters.

The research revealed that in Saudi Arabia, the lack of affordable housing is stopping house-hunters from purchasing property. According to the customer survey, 37 percent of respondents were currently renting as they could not afford to buy property.

In Jordan, 77.8 percent of house-hunters nominated location as the key factor to consider when looking for a new home. Safety and security (55.6 percent), and proximity to friends and family (33.3 percent) also play an important role in the house-hunting process.

Lamudi’s Global Co-Founder and Managing Director, Kian Moini, said: “The primary conclusion that we have drawn from our research is that the future for property in the Middle East is extremely bright. Cities across the region are growing rapidly and, as a result, the real estate market will have to develop to cater to the increasing demand for housing. Our research shows that the real estate industries in Saudi Arabia and Jordan are constantly maturing, and they will continue to grow over the next decade.”

The report includes interviews with real estate experts from around the world, including: Salman Ben Saedan, founder of Salman Abdullah Sin Saedan Real Estate and board member of the Tunisian Saudi Real Estate Company; Liam Bailey, Global Head of Residential Research at Knight Frank; and Khaled Anabtawi, Founderof Lamudi Jordan.

The full report is presented on the Lamudi website. For Saudi Arabia, visit or click for Jordan.