Egypt’s Ministry of Housing and Urban Communities has announced the launch of a new platform to showcase opportunities for investment in new cities across Egypt, the Ministry said in a statement this week.
The platform, going under the name of "Investor Services Portal," is designed to simplify decision-making processes by providing a streamlined mechanism for the evaluation and assessment of proposed investment opportunities while fostering collaborative efforts among government and private sectors.
“It comes in line with the state’s drive to enhance digital transformation [in the sector] and simplify administrative measures for investors to attract new investments and accelerate the economic development of new cities,” the statement said.
Access to the platform
Once registered on the platform, investors will be able to fill in the necessary data and then submit proposals for opportunities available in tier 2 and tier 3 cities such as New Cairo, New Giza, Sheikh Zayed, New Sohag, Obour City, Shorok, New Asyut, and New Minya.
Facilitating land deals
“There is a mounting keenness from the government to provide maximum flexibility and facilitate measures needed to help elevate the entire sector” says Cairo-based real estate development expert Ahmed Abdelsalam. “This has been widely felt.”.
The project aims to facilitate land deals and acquisitions, offering multiple investment opportunities be they in the form of cash or in-kind shares and usufruct land acquisition. But it also comes as part of a broader effort undertaken by the government to facilitate land acquisition, one key hurdle facing real estate developers as a result of the recent spikes in construction costs in the wake of the continued devaluation of the Egyptian currency.
“The continued rise of the value of the dollar against the Egyptian pound has caused land prices to boom because interest rates have risen as well, including on plots that were already sold before the devaluation and those that are soon to be sold,” says Abdelsalam.
“This put additional burden on real estate developers,” he says. “There's a force majeure faced by the entire sector.”
The volatility in fiscal and monetary policies, coupled with the increase in prices of materials used in construction, has derailed land acquisitions, causing slow progress in the completion and delivery of properties.
To help the sector regain its footing, Abdelsalam stresses the need to have stable monetary policies in place and for some new regulations to be introduced, as a means to help both developers and investors acclimate to Egypt’s ever-changing economic landscape.