Egypt is generally witnessing increased investments in the real estate sector for it being a safe haven against continuous inflationary pressures, yet some geographical areas experienced growth and demand more than others, Invest-Gate explores.

Strong Residential Interest in East Cairo

“Most investments in 2017 were mainly directed towards first homes in new cities in east Cairo especially New Cairo and the New Administrative Capital,” Senior Equity Analyst at Mubasher International Yasmine Radwan tells Invest-Gate.

“The establishment of the New Administrative Capital has influenced local and foreign developers’ plans this year, leading most of them to move further to east Cairo,” JLL Country Head of Egypt Ayman Sami tells Invest-Gate.

A total of 200 companies have responded to the new capital’s first tenders including Sixth of October Development & Investment Company’s (SODIC) Eastown (SODIC), Saudi-Egyptian Construction Company (SECON), and Talaat Moustafa Group Holding, reflecting a strong interest to carry out new residential projects in the capital, according to JLL’s Real Estate Market Overview for Q1-17.

A number of projects were already announced in the new capital such as Misr Italia Properties’ IL BOSCO-New Capital and Better Home’s Midtown New Capital.

“Emaar Misr requested the purchase of a -1,500-acre- land in the new capital,” Radwan says, adding that Talaat Moustafa Group already bought a- 500-acre- land this year.

In 2017, several new projects resided in New Cairo as well. 90 Avenue by Tabarak Holding and Palm Hills New Cairo by Palm Hills Developments, which are slated for completion in 2018 and 2021 respectively,” JLL’s Q1-17 report highlights.

SODIC Eastown and Villette, and Emaar’s Mivida also continued to report significant deliveries soon approaching resale phase. SODIC announced the launch of the first and second phases of Sky Condos in the- 301-acre- Villette project and opened the first phase of the- 655-acre- SODIC East project for booking. Back in April, SODIC also signed a final agreement with Heliopolis Company for Housing and Development to co-develop a 655-acre integrated community in east Cairo, with expectations to house around 8,600 residential units in addition to areas dedicated to commercial and retail use.

Located close to the new capital, El Mostakbal Urban Development Company’s 11,000-acre- Mostakbal City has started site preparation and utility with full coverage expected by 2019.

The Ministry of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Development, represented by the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), and Saudi-Egyptian Alliance Mountain View – Sisban are also developing the- 18,000-unit- iCity New Cairo worth USD 3.6 bn, with expectations to be completed in 2020, according to JLL’s Q2-17 report.

Madinet Nasr for Housing and Development (MNHD) announced the development of the- 220,000- square- meter Sarai in New Cairo; its first and second phases launched late 2016 and early 2017, respectively.

New Cairo Hub for Commercial Projects

In 2017, New Cairo continued to be home for many businesses in 2017. Capital Group Properties introduced Smart Village East at its 1,200-acre Al Borouj development in East Cairo. Heliopolis Developers Group also announced its six-story Cairo Capital Center, projected to add around 7,749 square meters of prime office spaces.

New Cairo is also seen the fastest growing area for retail developments associated with residential expansions. Al Futtaim Group was also working on five new buildings with 60,000 square meters of grade A office space and the Podium with 35,000 square meters of small- and medium-sized office space in the Cairo Festival City project, JLL’s Q1-17 release notes.

Investment Opportunities in West Cairo Still Abound

“Most of this year’s real estate projects were announced in east Cairo, yet west Cairo also saw new launches,” Sami notes.

In early 2017, SODIC, again, announced its latest 30.9-acre- project, October Plaza, in West Cairo. The Saudi-Egyptian Alliance Mountain View-Sisban also launched iCity October integrated community project in Sheikh Zayed City, to be developed through a public- private partnership between the developer and NUCA.

West Cairo also saw the launch of a -3,000-acre project, which will be co-developed by Palm Hills Developments (PHD) and NUCA in early 2018, offering multi-tenant buildings, standalone units, as well as, commercial, educational, and leisure facilities. Fawaz Al Hokair’s Marakez, too, is expanding in west Cairo with its latest development Aeon, JLL’s Q2-17 report says.

Commercially, work is ongoing with the expansion of Badr El Din Real Estate Project’s Mazar Mall and Mall of Arabia, according to a JLL report.

Around 30% of the three-floor Mazar Mall’s units have been leased to a number of commercial chains like Spinneys. “An administrative space has been leased to Qatar National Bank (QNB) to set up a new branch,” Badr El Din Chairperson Mamdouh Badr El Din announced.  

Second Homes Lure Investors

North Coast and Ain Sokhna were among top areas for developers, according to Property Finder’s 2017 insights.

“The New Al-Alamein City will attract investors and real estate developers as it will encompass hotels, touristic villages, a commercial zone, and an entertainment park,” NUCA spokesperson Mona Kamel previously said.

“I was hesitant to establish a hotel in the North Coast before the announcement of the new city project. But now, my company was encouraged to begin working on the idea,” Chairman and CEO of Arabia Group Tarek Shoukri says.

A couple of months back, SODIC announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop a- 300-acre- land on the North Coast, marking the second MoU that the developer signed in the same area, thus bringing the total land, over which the company is negotiating in the North Coast, to 600 acres.

Earlier this year, Hyde Park Developments, as well, launched the first phase of the- 1 mn- square- meter- Coast 82 on the North Coast, with total investments worth EGP 12.5bn.

Egypt’s Emaar Hospitality Group also unveiled its second hotel project, Address Marassi Beach Resort, overlooking Sidi Abdel Rahman Bay in the North Coast.

First Group also announced a plan to establish a -100-acre- project in North Coast, in addition to a -85- acre- project in Al Galala, Ain Sokhna.

“Thanks to the development of the New Capital City, Ain Sokhna has become a hot area for investment due to its close location to the new capital, which will make it the ideal holiday destination for the capital’s residents,” Property Finder notes.

El Shahawi Properties uncovered Ein Hills boutique resort in the heart of El Galala Mountain in Ain Sokhna.  El Shahawi Properties Vice President Hosni El Shahawi told Invest-Gate, “We can now say that the foundation is completed and the construction of Ein Hills compound itself has started. We are to deliver the first phase in March 2019 and the entire project in December 2020.”

Soon, Ain Sokhna will be considered as the primary residence for many as a result of the existing projects and developments in progress, such as the Galala City, which will include a major hospital and university and the new capital, according to Vacation Homes, Egypt 2017 Overview by Coldwell Banker.