Cityscape conference – photo by Fatma Khaled
CAIRO – 14 March 2018: In its seventh edition in Egypt, the mega annual real estate conference Cityscape brings together some of the country’s prestigious developers and government officials to exchange business experience and plan for new opportunities in the Egyptian real estate market. The conference was launched on Monday, March 12 and Tuesday, March 13 at Four Seasons Hotel in Cairo.
“Urban development is not only found in greater Cairo but has also been growing lately in surrounding cities that feature fully integrated communities, such as New Alamein City, New Mansoura City, West Qena and West Assiut,” said Technical Assistant for the Housing Ministry Khaled Abbas in his opening speech at the conference, adding that these projects are paving the way to reach the government’s plan to increase urban development in Egypt from the current 7 percent to 12 percent by the year 2052.
He also added that some factors need to be present for this growth, including partnership projects with the private sector and the ministry’s plan in launching new lands and investment opportunities every six months, confirming that both factors are already in the process of being implemented.
“The first phase of partnership projects has been finalized, while the second phase is being discussed and the third phase will be announced by the end of this month,” Abbas explained.
The real estate market in Egypt has faced dire circumstances in 2017 as a result of the flotation of the Egyptian currency, which has impacted real estate prices, demand and supply; however, Abbas stated that these challenges have been tackled and that a noticeable development growth has taken place in the first and second quarter of this fiscal year.
“Despite the challenges of last year, there was still a vivid demand this year. The stability in the market and the economic decisions in Egypt will increase volume of real estate investment, new projects, market demand and new price hikes in 2018,” said Fathallah Fawzy, co-founder of MENA Group and this year’s conference chairman.
Ian Albert, regional director at real estate consultancy firm Colliers International, also agreed that the currency devaluation has had a positive boosting effect on property investments in Cairo; however, he expected that by the end of 2018, the residential market will be undersupplied by 320,000 units, a gap that will increase to 580,000 units by 2022.
“This translates into required units of approximately 52,000 per annum, while supply is expected to grow by 20,000 units per annum,” he added.
While assessing the market’s demand, Albert pointed out that Egyptians are now looking for “lifestyle products”, projects that consist of secure neighbourhoods surrounded by a complete community of retail facilities, including health, commercial and educational facilities.
“Affordability is also of primary concern, as consumers are becoming more price sensitive and competition is becoming intense,” he emphasized.