In the light of the government’s recent efforts to stimulate investment, Invest-Gate interviews a number of leading experts in the real estate sector who share their views on the sector’s current status and what it still lacks.
Talking about the problems that still hinder developers’ business, ARDIC for Real Estate Development and Investments’ CEO Ashraf Dowidar tells Invest-Gate that “developers do not have problems with the investment climate, yet their main issue is with the affordability of mortgage finance, as people do not take out loans due to high interest rates so developers try to fill in this gap to attract buyers.”
Developers still also face challenges when trying to obtain a ministerial decree or a license for their projects, but there is improvement, Dowidar adds.
Similarly, Ian Albert, Colliers International Middle East & North Africa’s regional director, tells Invest- Gate that there is an issue with consumer finance in terms of mortgages and developer finance within the marketplace.
“Developers are taking all the inflationary pressures and risks; they have a lot of problems in terms of cash flow as they have to wait for the revenues to come through before moving on to the next stage,” Albert notes. “Heavyweight companies may not have this issue with cash flow but middle-sized operators need finance,” he adds.
As for the positive actions that the government took to boost developers’ businesses, MENA Group Founder Fathallah Fawzy says that “Offerings of land plots increased, with around 9,000 acres offered in 2017 through different systems of tenders. Advertised price, the highest bidder, and public-private partnerships (PPPs), all positively affected developers.”
“Land areas offered also doubled or tripled compared to previous years,” Fawzy notes, adding that land plots were offered in new cities including the New Administrative Capital, with more offerings expected in New Mansoura and New Al-Alamein in the upcoming period.
On another note, Fawzy adds that the real estate sector is one of the most active sectors in Egypt, contributing to the development of the country. “The new projects launched were successful, seeing a very good level of demand,” he elaborates.
Commenting on the investment climate in Egypt, Albert notes that capital repatriation issues have been lifted, giving a confidence boost to many consumers and investors. “We see this reflected in the newfound interest coming from the Gulf countries, which have always been heavily investing in Egypt in areas ranging from real estate to industry and that is set to continue,” he adds.