A number of real estate developers urged the government to put forth a programme to activate partnership with the private sector, through which the developers could inject their liquidity in development projects and get required lands.
During a round-table discussion held at the American University in Cairo on Thursday, several officials in the sector highlighted the importance of promoting the North Coast area and attracting investors through the unification of state authorities eligible for the sale of land and licensing procedures for the projects.
Chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle-Egypt (JLL-Egypt) Ayman Sami said the employment of the public-private partnership (PPP) system in the implementation of housing projects would help mitigate the housing crisis, especially in projects allocated for low-income citizens.
He added that the increase in the value of the dollar against the Egyptian pound contributed to the increasing demand for real estate during the second half of the current fiscal year (FY 2015/2016), as a safe investment to hedge against the pound’s devaluation.
He noted that the retail prices of apartments increased from 10% to 15% last year, while the retail prices of villas and houses witnessed an increase ranging from 5% to 9%.
He explained that the increasing demand on housing units, driven by the movement of the families from densely-populated areas to the less-crowded satellite cities, did not affect rent prices.
He further pointed out that Egypt’s real estate market is facing a decline in the number of low-income units, noting that companies tends towards the development of medium- and high-income units to achieve financial gains.
As for retail sector, Greater Cairo has witnessed an increase in demand for store rentals at malls, which prompted a peak in prices over the past year that continued through to the beginning of the second half of the current fiscal year.
Chairman of Mountain View Real Estate Investment Company Amr Soliman called on the government to propose territory for development through the PPP system to pave the way for the implementation of several projects, whether commercial or residential, to reduce the growth of informal settlements.
He explained that the PPP system allows the state to be a partner in profit only, whereby its share of revenues amounts to 40%, but it does not bear any losses. He highlighted the necessity of the state providing support to developers in acquiring licences and facilitating administrative procedures to attract more investments.
Further, Chairman of Rooya Group Hisham Shoukry demanded the unification of the authorities in charge of land sales and licences in the North Coast area to facilitate the execution of projects.
He explained that the area has two governing authorities: the Tourism Development Authority and Matrouh Governorate, moreover highlighting that Arabs control parts of the lands in the area.