The third edition of the Egypt Real Estate Summit (ERES) opens tomorrow under the auspices of Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Mostafa Madbouly and Dr. Khaled Hanafy, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade.
Sherif Samy, Chairman of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, and Serag El Din Saad, Head of Egypt’s Tourism Development Authority, are also among the high profile line of speakers. The event will bring together over 200 key decision makers of the Egyptian and regional real estate industry to collectively discuss Egypt’s most pressing market issues.
This year’s ERES will feature a large number of local and regional company CEO’s across various sectors, and a number of international experts to share their views in specialized seminars discussion panels. Key note speakers representing Egypt’s New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) include Eng. Kamal Fahmy, Vice President for the Development of Cities, Eng. Amin Abdel-Moneim, Vice President of Development and Magdy Farahat, Vice President of Real Estate.
Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Mostafa Madbouly, delivering the opening address of ERES, said, “The current interim government strongly believes that the new legislative amendments are key to easing sector hurdles, improving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) climate and to re-ignite investors’ confidence.”
“The Ministry took solid steps to revive the sector for the upcoming years, which are manifested in the ease of land allocation processes in new cities. Furthermore, the government has awarded a grace period of one year to all operating companies on the account of exceptional circumstances the country is experiencing,” he added.
“We are working aggressively on amending legislations, which will create an attractive investment climate. In addition, we are working to finalize all investor settlement cases in order to reinstate investor confidence in Egypt,” Madbouly affirmed.
ERES is held in the buildup to Egypt’s largest real estate exhibition Cityscape Egypt, held on 9-12 April at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC). Commenting on the Housing Minister’s presence at ERES, Director of Cityscape Group Mr. Wouter Molman said “The current interim government is showing its determination to improve availability of home financing and affordable housing through regulatory updates as well as the recent signing of the landmark deal with UAE construction giant Arabtec to build 1 million affordable homes across Egypt.”
Key amendments include the formulation of real estate fund rules, which includes permissible levels to support the economy. “We plan to launch Egypt’s first index fund in April to increase liquidity in the market and draw more investors, especially GCC nationals,” said Sherif Samy,
“Amendments were also incorporated in the stagnated Egyptian Mortgage law that was originally introduced in 2004. The hindering effects of the law reflect on the funds volume recording only LE4.2bn in total, delivered by 8 companies serving an insignificant segment of Egypt’s population of around 33,000 people,” he added.
He anticipated that the twenty proposed amendments on the mortgage law are expected to revive the sector through the increase in the legal lending limits for individuals to 40%. The government anticipates that the ease of these housing finance schemes for lower income individuals will increase fund volumes to LE8bn within one year from implementation of these amendments.
Eng. Fathalla Fawzy, Chairman, El Mostakbal for Urban Development and one of the speakers at ERES said: “The decision to lease industrial land on a usufruct basis will increase production as it solves one of the key problems facing the investors, which is the land.”
“Currently, the lack of offered land in new cities hinders industrial growth and development, so the state must address this problem and offer more land plots at reasonable prices. Eng. Fawzy also stressed that the launch of urban communities and new towns represents a breakthrough in resolving the land availability issue investors are facing.
The Egyptian government has not issued any decisions to establish new urban communities since the city of El Alamein in 2008, which did not come to light until today.
Eng. Mamdouh Badr El-Din, Deputy of the Division Of Real Estate Investment of NUCA, stated that his organization should work on the marketing to local investors abroad and communicate with foreign investors to promote and attract investment in the Egyptian market by demonstrating key success stories that will encourage the presence of more foreign investors in Egypt.
“The provision of housing units for low-income people should be a common goal between NUCA and real estate developers”, added El-Din, calling on NUCA to release new facilitated regulations to solve investors’ problems.
Hassan Hussein, Chairman and Managing Director of El-Taamir Mortgage Finance Co – Al-Oula, said that the Egyptian real estate market is still attractive for foreign investment due to the high volume of demand for properties as well as the government’s solid steps towards the completion of the roadmap.
Hussein added that amending regulations and solving local and foreign investors problems are essential for marketing the Egyptian investment environment and improving the overall reputation of the market.
Abdel Nasser Taha, Development Director, Mivida, Emaar Misr, stated that the Egyptian market is the largest real estate market in the region and demand in increasing, but the lack of vision and clear plans hurdle investment.
Taha urged the government to launch new urban communities authorities as it will not only solve the land scarcity problem, but also solves the housing crisis in Egypt amidst its fast growing population over the next 20 years.
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