Saudi Arabia's planned mortgage law would spur a 50% increase in demand for housing, according to the investment banking firm Kuwait Financial Centre.

The availability of property financing in the Arab world's biggest economy would "cause a trend shift in demand" and reverse the investment decline of the past decade, the firm, also known as Markaz, said last week. In July, Saudi Arabia's advisory council approved a draft for the country's law, which may be approved by yearend. The law would provide a real estate financing system and measures to monitor mortgage companies. Markaz said demand for residential units in Saudi Arabia will reach 500,000 to 800,000 homes from this year to 2013, versus a planned supply of 73,000 over that period.

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