Ownership and Sale of Property by Foreign Nationals in Egypt
Foreign nationals are legally allowed to own and purchase property in Egypt. However, there are restrictions on the ownership of certain types of property such as land within certain coastal and border zones, as well as property that is considered to be of cultural or historical significance. Foreigners are also required to register their property with the government and obtain a certificate of ownership. It is advisable to hire a local lawyer to assist with the process of buying property in Egypt to ensure compliance with all legal restrictions.
Average Property Prices
The average property prices in Egypt vary depending on the location and condition of the property. Prices in major cities such as Cairo and Alexandria tend to be higher than in smaller towns and rural areas. Prices can range from as low as $50,000 for a small apartment in a rural area to over $500,000 for a luxury apartment in a major city.
The most popular locations to buy property in Egypt include Cairo, the capital city, which offers a mix of modern amenities and historical sites. The coastal towns of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh are also popular choices among foreign buyers, as they offer beautiful beaches and an active nightlife. The province of North Coast is also a popular option among foreign buyers, with its beautiful beaches and growing tourism industry.
In recent years, the cities of 6th of October and New Cairo have become increasingly popular among foreign buyers, thanks to their modern amenities and proximity to Cairo. The city of New Alamein is also an upcoming option, with a growing expat community and a booming tourism industry.
Property Market Trends
The property market in Egypt has seen steady growth in recent years, with an increasing number of foreign buyers looking to purchase property in the country. Many of these buyers are attracted by the low cost of living, friendly local communities, and the potential for rental income.
Buying property in Egypt can be a good investment, particularly in areas that are experiencing strong growth in tourism. However, it is important to do your research and to work with a local lawyer or real estate agent to ensure that you are making a sound investment.
Common Property Types
The most common property types in Egypt include apartments, townhouses, detached houses, and villas. There are also a large number of plots of land available for purchase, particularly in rural areas. Additionally, there are a number of luxury villas and condos available in Egypt, particularly in coastal and tourist areas.
Typical House Buying Procedure in Egypt
Surveys and Inspections: Before making an offer on a property, it is advisable to have the property inspected by a structural engineer or surveyor to ensure that there are no hidden structural issues. A legal due diligence is also recommended to check for any outstanding debts or legal issues with the property.
Making an Offer: Once the surveys and inspections are completed, the next step is to make an offer on the property. This can be done through a real estate agent or directly with the seller. The offer should be in writing and include details such as the purchase price, payment terms, and any contingencies.
Notary: A notary is not required for the purchase of a property in Egypt. However, it is recommended to have a lawyer review the contract to ensure that all legal requirements are met.
Exchange of Contracts: Once the offer is accepted, the next step is to exchange contracts. This typically involves signing a sales and purchase agreement and paying a deposit, which is usually 10% of the purchase price.
Closing: The final step is to close the sale and transfer ownership of the property. This typically involves paying the remaining balance of the purchase price and obtaining the title deeds.
Finding a Reputable Lawyer
When buying a property in Egypt, it is important to find a reputable lawyer who is familiar with the legal process and can guide you through the transaction. Some ways to find a reputable lawyer include:
- Asking for recommendations from other expats or real estate agents
- Searching online for lawyers who specialize in property law
- Contacting the Egyptian Bar Association for a list of qualified lawyers
Lawyers in Egypt typically charge an hourly rate for their services, which can range from $50 to $200 per hour depending on the lawyer’s experience and location.
Pitfalls and Problems
Some common problems that expats may encounter when buying a property in Egypt include:
- Lack of transparency in the legal process
- Difficulty in obtaining the title deeds
- Property disputes or ownership issues
- Bureaucratic delays and red tape
Purchasing Property Through a Company
It is possible to purchase property in Egypt through a company, but it is not common practice for expats. Some examples of companies that specialize in property purchases include:
- Egyptian Real Estate Company: This company specializes in the purchase, sale, and management of real estate in Egypt.
- Egyptian Land Development Company: This company specializes in the development of land for residential and commercial projects.
It is important to note that this process can be more complex and may involve additional legal and tax considerations. It is advisable to consult with a lawyer or accountant before proceeding with a property purchase through a company.