Translation: Muhammad Khalid
The Egyptian real estate market is witnessing unprecedented growth which affirms that, in the context of the apparent development in digital transformation, the market is offering large opportunities for export, given the increase in the USD exchange rate against the Egyptian pound, and the achievement of the highest sales rate for both non-Arab foreign and Arab clients. Therefore, the establishment of an official real estate platform for the promotion and marketing of properties gives easy and better access to regional and international clients. The new platform will enhance the real estate market’s standing on the global map.
There are a group of real estate platforms in Egypt, including Estative, which was launched in both the UAE and Egypt simultaneously; Nawa Pro, which covers 6 different sectors (real estate developers, mortgage companies, building and finishing companies, internal design and décor companies, legal services companies, and facility managers), Isqan.com, which facilitates homes purchases, sales, and rent, and Sakneen, which recently launched a new digital property purchasing experience for its users, allowing them to view all homes on the map.
However, there are still claims for establishing an official online platform in Egypt to connect all parties of the real estate system, including developers, the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA), and the Real Estate Development Chamber (REDC), to ensure the best experience for foreign investors and buyers. This new platform should allow clients to search for properties and conduct purchases, and direct them to entities providing financial and legal services through a unified platform characterized by transparency and credibility, and incorporates all data, rendering traditional procedures obsolete.
To that end, Invest-Gate sheds light on the top challenges facing developing an official real estate platform affiliated with the Ministry of Housing, that includes all major underway projects in Egypt, whether executed by the state or the private sector.
In this regard, Osama Saad Eddin, CEO of the REDC, says that the real estate platform is a very successful means in the real estate sector, especially in light of the digitalization and the urban development renaissance in Egypt, adding that it should be developed in a correct way that promotes properties and contributes to their export. Saad Eddin notes that the development of an official real estate platform is not just the role of the government, but it is the role of all parties operating in the real estate sector.
He maintains that the new platform will require certain control measures, including inputting three-dimension data, not just written descriptions, of all available units in Egypt by developers, NUCA, and the Ministry of Housing, adding that the platform should be linked with Egyptian banks and primary contracts should be written once the investor is chosen and the unit is booked.
On a similar note, Saad Eddin remarks that we are in need of collecting comprehensive data to be uploaded to the platform and cover all areas across the government. He maintains that there is a misconception that needs to be corrected that developers don’t believe that marketing is possible through the real estate platform. Saad Eddin stressed the necessity of joining forces between developers, NUCA, the Ministry of Housing, and the REDC to develop the platform with high efficiency.
For his part, Nour El Deen Reda ElSerougy, Board Member at the International Real Estate Federation (FIABCI) and CEO of HRE Properties Egypt, says that one of the top challenges in Egypt’s efforts to develop an official real estate platform is the lack of data, for there are no information or reports with regard to the volume of projects developed in Egypt, therefore, foreign investors don’t know anything about it.
ElSerougy comments that establishing the new platform requires a real estate knowledge bank that covers and classifies all areas to help identify and recommend opportunities that best suit European, African, and Asian investors. This step should be followed by a systematic campaign for investors through real estate ambassadors who travel from one country to another with a mission to raise the world’s awareness of the major projects in Egypt, along with their return on investments, using the official platform, in coordination with the Ministry of Housing.
ElSerougy concludes that governance, legislation, and laws are crucial to protect the rights of foreign investors, whether landlords or tenants, in addition to a regulatory and control authority to govern the relationship among developers, marketers, and investors. Furthermore, he states that any real estate broker must hold a license with a designated number to be able to practice the profession, and violations of that rule must be punishable by law.