The property market in Egypt has had a rough time since the Arab Spring of 2011. Tourism was hit very hard by the political instability in Egypt during those years and economic activity had come to a virtual standstill.
The election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as the President of Egypt in 2014 in a free election helped to stabilize things somewhat. Tourism is big business in Egypt and the tourist activity is back to normal in Red Sea resorts of Sharm-el-Sheikh and Hurghada.
In fact, Egypt saw a record number of tourists in 2015. Hotel occupancy in these resorts was up by 75% in 2015. The numbers would have been even higher, if not for the terrorist attack on a Russian jet in Sharm-el-Sheikh, which killed all 224 on board, mainly Russian tourists.
Even so, property buyers are back in Egypt. They have been back since 2014, and 2015 was a very positive year for the property market in the country. It is easy to see why, as Egypt has a relaxed, easy way of life that overseas property hunters like.
Egypt has a first rate Mediterranean climate and is a perfect winter destination for those looking for an escape from the harsh winter cold in their countries. There is the added advantage that costs in Egypt are really quite low, which makes Egyptian apartments and villas easily affordable for most foreign buyers.
Alexandria and Aswan are popular areas to buy a property. Cairo, the biggest city in Egypt is overcrowded, but has a distinct appeal as well. There are many posh areas in for the upper classes Cairo that are worth a look. There is, of course, a huge demand for luxury villas and apartments in the popular resorts of Sharm-el-Sheikh and Hurghada.
Buying Property in Egypt – How It Works
Buying property in Egypt is a complicated process. There are several different systems in Egypt depending in where you are buying, and whether you are purchasing a resale property or a newly built development.
Generally, for a newly built house you will be required to pay a deposit of at least 5 to 10%, and pay the rest after completing the purchase. Contracts are drawn up in both English and Arabic and they will have all the details related to the property such as titles, planning permissions etc.
If you want to buy a resale property, you will have to pay a deposit of 5 to 10% to the owner. The rest of the money can be paid over a period of time as per an agreement between yourself and the seller. You will gain full ownership of the property after making the final payment.
In Egypt there is no property purchase tax, so you don’t have to pay any tax on the purchase of your new house or apartment. You will need to pay a registration fee of £1,000 or more for the Green Contract instead.
Other costs include the legal fees, which are around £500, bills related to the connection of various utilities, which are around £100, and maintenance fees for one year, which could be £250 or more.
Hiring a lawyer is a really hard thing to do in Egypt as the country has many self-styled lawyers without any valid qualifications. You are likely to come across a lot of petty corruption when dealing with the local bureaucracy during the buying process, so this is something you should be aware of.
Egypt Property Market Outlook 2016
2016 is expected to be a year of normalcy and stability in Egypt. But there is a growing terrorist threat in the entire Middle East from the ISIS or Islamic State, so this is something you should be aware of when buying a house or apartment in Egypt.