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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - DUBAI: Sustainable real estate development is quickly transitioning from a fringe alternative investment philosophy to the norm.
Investors today already manage $120 trillion of financial assets (including real estate) under voluntary climate change disclosures. Although there are already more than 129,000 green-rated real estate assets globally, these assets are usually standalone assets or small clusters within a wider built environment.
Globally, many governments have, or are in the process of introducing legislation which favors sustainable assets, and rightfully so, given that the built environment contributes to an estimated 40 percent of global carbon emissions.
The announcement of The Line development by the Saudi Arabian government will put the Kingdom at the forefront of this drive to sustainability through innovation.
Not only do such developments provide immense positive environmental externalities, but they also attract a broader range of asset financing, as sustainability credentials for many lenders becomes the norm.
Such developments also support future demand parameters of tenants and owner-occupiers, which will underpin resilience in such assets. This will in turn strengthen rents and capital values, and ultimately returns for investors.
- Taimur Khan is an Associate Partner at Knight Frank
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