Housing types in Saudi Arabia

Housing types in Saudi Arabia show how much this country has changed over the years. It is an excellent combination of tradition and modern life. They have made an effort to follow modern life and culture while respecting tradition and heritage. Out of 28.7 million people who live in Saudi Arabia, only 20 million are actually from Saudi Arabia. The rest are mostly workers and people who have decided to relocate here to enjoy all the comfort and benefits this magnificent country provides. We at Four Winds KSA have facilitated hundreds of moves, and we’ve seen firsthand all types of houses and homes you can find. If you too are interested in relocating here, read this article until the end to see which type of home will suit you best! 

The housing market is on the rise in Saudi Arabia for the past decade

The past decade in Saudi Arabia is marked by rapid growth in many ways. The constant rise in the living standard has made the housing market follow the same growing trend.  That’s why many Saudis tend to live in large houses, they have the opportunity for it and they are seizing it. Also, all local movers Saudi Arabia has to offer will say that they are busier than ever. That is no wonder, as 60% of the land in KSA is covered with houses and homes regardless of the type, while the rest of it is covered with sand, land, and trees. Before we get into the details of all housing types in Saudi Arabia, let’s first see which types are the most or least owned:
  • Apartments 53%
  • Traditional houses 17%
  • Villas 15%
  • Floors in villas 8%
  • Floors in traditional houses 3%
  • Others 4%
Penthouse villa, one of the most luxurious housing types in Saudi Arabia
The housing market in Saudi Arabia is on the rise, with all housing types being in high demand

Tradition is very important in Saudi Arabia’s architecture

Before we take a dive into the housing types and explain them further, let’s just explore their tradition a little bit. You will see a touch of tradition almost everywhere. Even new buildings and apartment complexes will have a certain design or feature that is very traditional. Their traditional houses are very interesting for tourists and new people. The residents often worry about privacy in their houses and you can see that even in modern homes. People who make buildings have a few conditions to fulfill:

  • Because of dry and warm air, they have to make houses with small windows;
  • Their climate presumes a lot of sun and wind, so housing types in Saudi Arabia try to provide comfort in accordance with the climate;
  • You will see that they want to provide water whenever they can, and their houses have sunk in the yard.

Packaging companies in Saudi Arabia will recommend you don’t bring too many clothes for the colder weather when moving to this country. They simply do not have many days where the temperature goes below 10 degrees Celcius during December and January. Wardrobes in their homes are usually smaller compared to the US and Europe. Also, they do not use much of the furniture in these houses, so be aware of that before you arrive.

Najd style of building

There is a particular type of architecture in Saudi Arabia called the Najd style. You will mostly find them in the central and northern regions of the Kingdom. A typical house in the Najd region is usually two stories high, and it is built around an open courtyard. Materials used for these houses are sun-dried mud bricks and mud. It’s understandable why, as the climate there is very hot and humid. Housing types in Saudi Arabia are defined by the climate of a certain area, so in some areas of the Kingdom, you will see houses that look like tents! Most movers in Riyadh will tell you these homes are the easiest and most fun to work with.

Rooftop penthouse
These types of homes are mostly owned by wealthy natives, but a growing number of newcomers are able to afford them

What are luxurious housing types in Saudi Arabia like?

Luxurious homes in Saudi Arabia are something you will see quite often. They are gorgeous and unique, and living in one of those homes would be a dream come true for many people. They come in various shapes and forms. The most common ones are rooftop apartment complexes, penthouse villas, palaces, and villas on the ground.

Rooftop apartment complexes

Even if you are not royalty, you will most definitely feel like that in these types of apartments. When foreigners arrive to Saudi Arabia the first time, they will buy this type of apartment in 12% of cases. Most of them are owned by wealthy natives and foreigners already living there. These homes are located on top of luxurious buildings, large and spacious. Plenty of walls inside these apartments are made of glass, so they feel even more spacious. Not only that you will have a great view of the inside of your home, but also a special level of privacy since you are located on the very top of the building. We already mentioned how much the people in Saudi Arabia value their privacy, so rest assured that the design of those homes had security and privacy at the very top of their priority list.

Penthouse villas

These villas are just like the previously mentioned rooftop apartments in terms of their location. They are also at the uppermost level of buildings but are more spacious and lavish than their apartment counterparts. They are usually designed in a way where you have two separate apartments within that villa. That is mostly the case because of how traditional residents of Saudi Arabia lead their family lives and marriages. The husband and wife have separate areas of living, but of course, the villa has places for quality family time. They provide all the security, comfort, privacy, and luxury many Saudis and expats expect and demand when they purchase a home of this type. When we talk about expats, penthouse villas are their preferred type of home in 11% of all home purchases made by newcomers.

Palace, one of the most luxurious housing types in Saudi Arabia
All villas and palaces must have a place with water, like niches and pools
Housing market statistics tell us that the most sought-after penthouse villas are located in Bahrain. If this housing type is your favorite and you want to make this dream a reality, we as one of the most reliable moving companies in Bahrain will await you with open arms and make sure your stay begins on a high note!

Villas on the ground

For those that do not enjoy watching the city from the air, they have villas on the ground. Most of them are more abundant than penthouses and have extensive gardens and parks. As we can see, people in Saudi Arabia love to have green in their houses, as a replacement for the desert that they are surrounded with. Also, villas have high walls and fences and usually a small niche with water for visitors. The area with the highest number of villas in Saudi Arabia relative to its size is Jubail. Most people who prefer luxury over anything else decide to move here. Out of all foreigners who move to Saudi Arabia, 12% will go for these villas. If you are one of them, make sure you do business with only the most reliable moving companies in Jubail!

Palaces as housing types in Saudi Arabia

The world palace itself explains enough about what type of home this really is. Palaces as great homes where very rich people live, like members of the royal family, successful businessmen, etc. You will mostly see palaces in places like Riyadh, while villas are more private and located in smaller cities. Palaces are mostly one to two stories high, so they are not like the palaces you are used to seeing in movies. But just because they are smaller than those types of palaces, it doesn’t mean they are any less gorgeous and stunning. These are the least frequent home types that expats and foreigners buy, because they are the most expensive. However, 6% of all newcomers to Saudi Arabia in the past 5 years have bought a palace!

Other housing types in Saudi Arabia

Even though Saudi Arabia is a very rich country, they obviously have homes and accommodations for all social classes and types of people. They have houses for every range of monthly income. It’s interesting to note that most homes in Saudi Arabia for the middle class are more spacious than the homes of people from Europe and the US. It’s really no wonder why so many people decide to move here when they get the right job opportunity. A cheaper cost of living index plus larger homes! Sounds like a great deal. The most frequent regular housing types in Saudi Sarabia are detached duplexes, compounds, and apartments.

Building in Saudi Arabia
Most buildings in Saudi Arabia have a certain touch of tradition in their architecture

Detached duplex

These are very frequent and interesting houses in Saudi Arabia made of two parts. A detached duplex means you have two separate buildings, one next to the other, without sharing a single wall. The reason why they are made of two parts is due to religious and traditional reasons. Men and women have to have their own living chambers. Most of them have two or even three floors, luxury walls and doors, and decorations on them. They have a reception too. Made in majlis style, they are most traditional than every other type of house. Plenty of these duplexes are on the market, so use quality moving services in Saudi Arabia to make your whole relocation experience an enjoyable one. Over the past few years, these types of homes have been purchased by 9% of all newcomers to the Kingdom!

Residential compounds

When people first move to Saudi Arabia, apartments in residential compounds are the most frequent choice! Fifty percent of all foreigners choose these homes when they first arrive, and when they settle in and save enough money, they move on to more luxurious types of homes. The Saudis mostly build these compounds for foreign people and in style are closer to western architecture. Although with a flat roof and edges, they are very large and attractive. Most of them include western facilities like gyms or restaurants. Fun fact: even though alcohol is banned by law in Saudi Arabia, inside some residential compounds and gated communities alcohol consumption is allowed. For foreigners that are coming to Saudi Arabia for the first time, it is good to learn where and how to find and rent one of these apartments.

Residential compound in Saudi Arabia, a frequent housing type in Saudi Arabia for foreigners
Residential compounds are the most frequent choice for newcomers and foreigners who move to Saudi Arabia

How much does it actually cost to live in Saudi Arabia in terms of rent or home value?

Villas and penthouses in Saudi Arabia are usually cheaper than in the US or Europe. Of course, there are exceptions but on average it’s really like that. The median home value of a 5-bedroom villa is 2,500,000 Saudi Arabian Riyals, which translates to $665,424. This is enough context to give you an understanding of how different the housing market in Saudi Arabia really is. The same goes for all homes, regardless of type, size or class. When we look at the average home values and rent prices for apartments, we easily see how much cheaper Saudi Arabia really is compared to Europe or US. Let’s use the United States as an example. Renting apartments on average is almost 300% more expensive in the US! If you’d like to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Riyadh, it would cost you $450. In the US, it’s usually around $1,500, but it varies from state to state. If you’d like to buy an apartment, the price per square foot in the city center of Riyadh is $123, whereas in the States the average price is $400. If you’ve saved enough money for your own place, find the right housing types in Saudi Arabia for your needs and start packing! Plenty of local movers in Saudi Arabia can’t wait to take your call and help you relocate! 

Latest Posts

Site Logo

Get the latest news & special offers

Join Our List


    * indicates required