• 55028
    PROPERTIES
  • 591
    AGENCIES
  • 40
    COUNTRIES

Egypt, a country linking northeast Africa with the Middle East, dates to the time of the pharaohs. Millennia-old monuments still sit along the fertile Nile River Valley, including the colossal Pyramids and Sphinx at Giza and the hieroglyph-lined Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings tombs in Luxor. The capital, Cairo, is home to Ottoman landmarks such as Muhammad Ali Mosque.

82 million

Low Season (Jun–Aug)

Scorching summer sun means only the hardiest sightseers visit Upper Egypt. Avoid the Western Desert. High season on the Mediterranean coast.

(Mar–May, Sep–Oct)

Spring brings occasional dust storms disrupting flights. Heat can extend into October, when crowds are lighter. Warm seas and no crowds at Mediterranean spots in autumn.

High Season (Oct–Feb)

Egypt’s ‘winter’ is largely sunny and warm, with very occasional rain (more frequent on the Mediterranean). Be prepared for real chill in unheated hotels, especially in damp Alexandria.

 

Egyptian pound

Arabic

Yes, Foreigners can buy property in Egypt

The entire process generally takes between three and four months to complete. While full registration gives you the most protection under Egyptian property law, it also places certain restrictions on how many properties you may own (no more than two) and when you can sell them (not before five years of ownership, and even after that only with Prime Ministerial approval.

  • Present a request for property registration to the land registry (it is then sent to the Egyptian Surveying Authority).
  • The Surveying Authority delegates a team from the Department of Measurements to produce a report on the property, which is then sent back to the Surveying Authority
  • Once the inspection report is either approved or disproved by the Surveying Authority, it is sent back to the land registry, which then prepares an “acceptance report”
  • The Egyptian Lawyer’s Syndicate approves the final draft of the purchase contract (you must have a lawyer to complete this procedure), which is then returned to the land registry for processing
  • The buyer pays a maximum LE2,000 to obtain his contract from the land registry
  • Both the buyer and seller sign the contract at the offices of the land registry
  • The buyer collects his contract at the land registry

Make sure to vet a number of lawyers before you decide to hire one. You should also try to get in touch with other expats who have purchased property to see if they have anyone to recommend.

Once you have a lawyer, you will probably have to make a deposit while he checks the property against outstanding debts, loans, et cetera. Deposit requirements vary by transaction.

If there are not outstanding legal issues regarding your property, your lawyer will be able to register it at the land registry office. The land registry office will then provide you with a deed to the property (for a fee, of course). Property registry fees vary, but they have a maximum ceiling of LE200,000.

There are two basic property registration processes in Egypt: full registration and signature of validity.

FREEHOLD/LEASEHOLD

Purchasing a property in South Sinai such as Sharm el Sheikh is different than purchasing a property in any other location in Egypt, this is because of the difference in legal status. An administrative decree was issued by the prime minister of Egypt in 2005, abrogating the context of the previous law issued in 1996. Despite the fact that an administrative decree is normally unable to nullify law, this decree is currently the prevalent decree governing the foreigners’ legal status when it comes to purchasing a property in South Sinai.

The aforementioned decree states that foreigner purchasers in South Sinai may not be granted the right to be "landlords" on the properties they purchase, but to only have the "Freehold" right, for the maximum time of 99 years.

Normally the term "Freehold" applies to the right to enjoy a property and all its advantages for good, and the right of disposal, either physical or legal disposal, however the decree has stated the maximum limit of freehold as 99 years, therefore - legally talking - it is NOT freehold, and it is therefore why it is rephrased to "Usufruct".

In other areas of Egypt it is still possible to buy freehold properties.

Purchasers must be aware of the extra cost of the “buyers commission” when purchasing in some areas of Egypt. This is a fee which is charged to the purchaser by the agent handling the transaction of sale. This fee is usually 1.5% of the price of the property. In other areas of Egypt the “buyers commission” is between 4% and 5% of the value of the property but does include some of the lawyers fees. 

The best way to start your search is to narrow down where exactly it is that you want to live. Odds are that you will be living in either Cairo or Alexandria as a foreigner, and these cities each have districts that are particularly popular among foreign residents.

In Cairo, the Nile island of Zamalek and the newer buildings in Maadi are extremely popular among foreign residents. They offer more convenient access to better-stocked grocery stores, accommodations are generally nicer and they ensure you will have the opportunity of meeting foreign neighbours. Zamalek in particular features a number of excellent restaurants, hotels and clubs.

You literally pay a price for these conveniences – rent can be considerably more expensive in these areas. If you’re open to more modest accommodations (and some occasional day-to-day hardship in terms of communication and shopping) you will certainly be able to obtain a cheaper rental.

Once you’ve determined roughly whereabouts you would like to live, you can simply start pounding the pavement and asking bowwabs about vacancies in your neighbourhood of choice. You will need decent Arabic (or an Arabic-speaking friend) to make any headway, but you will find most bowwabs knowledgeable about the buildings (their job is to maintain them, after all) and the cost of rent. If you find a place you like, the bowwab will also be able to put you in touch with a building’s simsar (landlord) for more formal negotiations.

There are also numerous broadsheets published in Arabic with real estate listings. These are helpful for efficiently narrowing down options within a given area, though you will need a decent familiarity with the Arabic language (or again, help from a native speaker) to make any sense of them. Don’t limit yourself to the listings, however – these kinds of publications are far from comprehensive. Even if you fail to find any listings in an area you like, it should not discourage you from checking things out in person.

Real estate agents in Egypt

If you are looking for a higher-end rental, you may find a real estate agent quite helpful. There are real estate offices located throughout all major Egyptian cities, and agents often speak decent English. A real estate agent will be able to show you a number of properties and then make arrangements to see them.

Agents are particularly useful when it comes to locating upscale properties, and you will likely find their budget offerings relatively sparse. For this reason, estate agents are likely a less-than-ideal resource for young expats and students.

In the event that you do use a real estate agent, you should expect to pay a commission equivalent to one month’s rent on your property. In some cases, the agent may collect this fee from the landlord rather than you, the tenant.

Be aware that most real estate agents will not offer much help when it comes to price negotiations. In most cases, they serve as matchmakers rather than dealmakers – make sure to negotiate the rent with your landlord before you settle.

 

 

infomation from justlanded.com

Agents commission is paid by the Tenant and is generally equal to one months rent