Real estate stakeholders discuss sector’s challenges at Egyptian Economic Conference 2022

The Egyptian Economic Conference kicked off on Sunday to discuss the conditions and future of the Egyptian economy with wide participation of senior economists, thinkers, and specialized experts.

During the conference, a session was dedicated to real estate export to address efforts of the state in maximizing ways to benefit from real estate wealth, and setting an integrated roadmap for developing the efficiency of the real estate sector and enhancing its competitiveness.

Furthermore, the session would discuss export of real estate and encourage relevant parties in an integrated system to expand the export of Egypt’s property, and reaching an integrated and specific roadmap to develop and improve the efficiency of this sector.

Abeer Essam, the member of Real Estate Development Chamber at Federation of Egyptian Industries, said that the Chamber presented several ideas to the Cabinet to help confront economic challenges and overcome some current crises, on top of which is the expansion of mortgage financing for clients and real estate developers, and encourage the export of Egypt’s property.

Moreover, the Chamber submitted a proposal to grant residency to foreign property buyers in Egypt to encourage them to purchase and support property export. The Chamber’s suggestions also included periods of time needed by real estate developers to complete the development of their faltering projects due to COVID-19 crisis and the consequences of Russian-Ukrainian war, high prices of building materials, besides, greed of traders and its negative impact on real estate development, according to Essam.

She revealed that the Chamber will organize a real estate exhibition on the sidelines of the Egyptian Economic Conference on 29 October, explaining that this exhibition serves as a message to the world that Egypt is stable and safe, calling on the world to invest in it, and investment opportunities will be presented in this exhibition. In addition to inviting Egyptian and Arab investors, and real estate investors to invest in African countries, as promising countries full of investment opportunities.

Daker Abdellah, the member of the Real Estate Investment Division of the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce and member of the Construction Committee of the Egyptian Businessmen Association, said that Egypt pays great attention and support to the real estate sector.

Abdellah highlighted the need to focus on developing a vision for how to export Egyptian property through the expansion of real estate exhibitions in the target markets in coordination between private sector and the government. Furthermore, defining a unified contract for the sale of real estate units to foreigners and establishing a platform that brings together all real estate projects in Egypt, their specifications, prices and payment methods. This electronic platform is under the umbrella of the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, and it is marketed in a distinct way externally.

He suggested the necessity of expanding mortgage financing initiatives with raising the credit limit to EGP 5m to expand the benefit of these initiatives, especially in the middle-income people, to create greater popularity in the sale of real estate.

Abdellah stressed the importance of establishing a body to regulate the real estate market so that policies and general frameworks of the real estate market are set, provided that it follows the prime minister.

Similarly, Mahmoud El-Adl, Chairperson of MBG Developments, stressed the need to establish an international system to export Egyptian real estate, in which the state participates with private sector, and is represented by ministries of Housing, Trade and Industry, Migration, and Tourism, in order to have a strong and effective role.

El-Adl added that the private sector is not alone in managing this system, and there must be an effective role for the government in real estate export, because it will be the only mechanism capable of attracting major foreign investments.

He explained that property export is one of the most important global trades, and the volume of real estate exceeded $2trn annually, while Egypt’s percentage of that trade does not exceed 2.5%, added that Egypt has a variety of real estate products between administrative, commercial, medical, residential, and serviced apartments, which meets needs of citizen and Arab and foreign investor.

He noted that the real estate market is constantly growing and there is an increasing demand for real estate as a result of population growth rates that reach 2.5% annually, in addition to nearly one million marriages every year. New Administrative Capital projects are considered the best-selling in the real estate sector. There is a demand and desire to purchase and obtain housing units, and it is expected that these desires will continue to grow, especially with the government’s move to the New Capital in 2022.

Early October, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly met real estate developers to discuss ways to advance and develop the real estate sector, during which the developers highlighted the importance of working to change the philosophy of mortgage financing for Egyptians, and providing more facilities with regard to obtaining housing units through mortgage financing. They demanded that the unit be guarantor, and they put forward a number of ideas in this regard and mechanisms for their implementation.

They further offered a number of ideas and visions regarding mortgage financing and mechanisms for activating it, in a way that contributes to providing and making the largest possible number of housing units available for sale. They also presented a number of ideas that would contribute to revitalizing and increasing the sale of housing units to Egyptians expatriates, or foreigners, demanding that a body affiliated with the cabinet be assigned to deal with real estate export and ways to market it. They also demanded that real estate developers be allowed to sell to foreigners in US dollars.