Sherif Heliw, Chairman of Marseilia Group Sherif Heliw, Chairman of Marseilia Group

Marseilia’s Success Story

Thu, Feb. 13, 2020

Sherif Heliw, Chairman of Marseilia Group, looks ahead to a year of stability and growth in the real estate market thanks to customized financing initiatives for young homebuyers.

CAIRO - 13 February 2020: As foreseen by the end of 2019, 2020 kicked off to relative stability in the real estate market, leaning toward an expected boom during the first quarter of the year. This has been due to the great demand on the current projects being delivered across Egypt and the projects expected to be delivered during the remaining quarters of 2020 East and West of Cairo, in the North Coast (New Alamein and Ras El Hekkma) and the New Administrative Capital (NAC).

Real estate developments have taken a new turn to welcome a new era as we focus on real estate products and how we introduce them. At Marseilia, our expertise of more than 20 years in the real estate market has enabled us to dedicate more efforts to the geographical spread of our growing urban footprint in untapped areas. We have been able to introduce the concept of the compound in Alexandria that only contained lifeless residential buildings that lack services, security, privacy and an identity since 2011. We have also spread west to Matrouh, where we have established our remarkable Alam El Roum Project, the first integrated resort with independent services, which is set to turn Marsa Matrouh into an integrated community.

Also, we were the first real estate developer that contributed to change the North Coast and placing it on the global tourism map; we were the first to develop a project on the tribal side of the North Coast that extends along 280 kilometers without any tourism investments, rolling out our Marseilia Resort 1 which was followed by several others.

And with a keen vision for more than 10 years, we have taken the initiative to expand in the heart of the new city of El Alamein and in the middle of the largest touristic movement in the North Coast: Marseilia Land El Alamein at 107 km, Alexandria Matrouh Road.

Development over the past years has been mainly focused on the high-end luxury market leaving a huge opportunity to service the middle-income market. Marseilia’s focus is on the middle-income housing segment, which is a promising market with a gap in affordable housing estimated at 2.5 million housing units.

There are many projects now being offered to clients with different plans and services tailored to suit each and every need and preference. This can be for the benefit of the client, but still it leaves many confused about their perfect fit. At Marseilia, we have managed to study the market first, and get insightful idea about the market’s needs as well as the clients’, enabling us to offer the right products at the right payment plans.

Sherif Heliw, Chairman of Marseilia Group

However, the real estate market still has unexperienced real estate companies that continue to provide payment facilities and unsolicited sales offers, especially as marketing offers become more attractive to customers at a faster pace, which creates deferred revenues that might inevitably lead to a crisis in the real estate market by the end of 2020. Such payment plans are due to the lack of support and real estate financing for units under construction. This has led the developers to go the extra mile to support the state’s role in real estate financing, by offering long payment periods and discounts for clients seeking shorter payment plans. Therefore, we call for more initiatives that enable more mechanisms for the application of real estate finance and finance leasing. While real estate financing is dedicated for the residential sector, the financial leasing has doubled to LE 40 billion, with 70 percent of real estate financing channeled to administrative and commercial use units and projects, hence they are of great support for the real estate market.

Real estate finance draws its importance from the fact that it benefits both buyers and developers. Speaking to the media in December, Suzan Hamdy, Head of Financial Markets and Investment in Misr Bank, announced that almost 37 percent of the Egyptian population are young people of marriage age, which requires establishing more residential projects and hence real estate finance stands out as a powerful tool to support the market. Furthermore, it is beneficial for the developers themselves, as it provides them with the liquidity necessary for their projects’ development and completion.

The Central Bank’s initiative aims to provide total financing of up to LE 50 billion over 20 years for housing units that do not exceed an area of 150 square meters. Each unit price ceiling is LE 2.25 million, with a 10 percent decreasing interest rate. The real estate financing initiative is commendable, but to achieve more benefits, it must be more flexible to serve a broader customer segment by finding a mechanism to also include projects that are still in progress.

According to the current expansions of Marseilia Group, we’re developing projects spread all over Egypt and specifically in Alexandria (Hayat Marseilia), El-Ain El-Sokhna (Marseilia Bluebay Asia), the North Coast (Marseilia Beach 4 and Cascadia) and the New Administrative capital (Golden Yard). It is worth noting that Marseilia Group is always striving for development that is in line with the government’s strategy and vision for expansion and urban development to develop and strengthen the community with integrated real estate projects for a more comfortable and luxurious life. The group is in the process of building a land portfolio of about 2,500,000 square meters with many expansion projects and strategic partnerships such as the Nasr City and Miami Alexandria Beach Projects.

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