Egypt is often called the Cradle of the Human Civilization. For long Egypt was an idyllic tourist spot. But the recent Egyptian revolution led to many foreign tourists giving Egypt a miss and looking for other alternatives.
But things are different now as peace has finally reached to Egypt and there is a strong sense of both political and economic stability in the country. So once again, foreign buyers of property as well as tourists are looking at Egypt with renewed anticipation.
We have seen a strong demand for Egyptian property from foreign buyers from Britain, Russia, Slovenia, Poland and Germany attracted by the lovely weather and a whole lot of exciting water sports and cruises on offer around the Nile. Scuba diving is a popular sport in Egypt.
Among the popular cities in Egypt are Sharm el Sheikh, El Gouna and Hurghada. We have seen a plenty of foreigners buying property here. However, if you’re looking to buy property in Egypt as an investor rather than for pleasure, we suggest buying properties in Cairo and Luxor.
Cairo is Egypt’s financial and political capital, it is easily the most important place in the country. Luxor is a tourist hotspot which has found many takers among foreign buyers of property. We expect property prices in all major Egyptian cities to appreciate by 15-20% this year.
Are you Eligible to Buy Property in Egypt?
Yes, as a foreigner, you are allowed to buy property in Egypt. However, there are certain restrictions. You are not allowed to buy property that exceeds 4,000 square meters in size and you cannot own more than two properties in Egypt. Also, it is important for you or a family member to reside at all times in the property. Your purchase should be approved by the Council of Ministers, a process which usually takes two months.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy Property in Egypt?
Foreigners looking to buy property in Egypt are spared from capital gains tax and inheritance tax. But they are required to pay a purchase tax, which is levied at 1% on homes that cost over £109,000. But taxes are charged if a home costs less than £45,000.
Registration of the property costs £1,000 if done under the Green Contract method, under which you cannot sell the property within 5 years of purchase. There is another method of registration called signature validation, which costs just £200. While this method is much less restrictive, it offers a 99-year lease on the property rather than a complete and comprehensive property rights over it. Of course, a 99-year lease is good enough for most people.
Buying Property in Egypt – The Details
While buying property in Egypt be sure to consult with an experienced solicitor with excellent knowledge of the Egyptian property market, and the local land laws, rules and regulations. It is also important for your solicitor to have excellent connections with the local planning commission or bureaucracy, as this would simplify a lot of things for you.
Egypt is still an emerging nation; so unfortunately, there will be a lot of corruption in government offices that you will have to reckon with while buying property here. However, if you hire the right solicitor, he is likely to take care of everything related to the property.
You will be asked to reserve the property by paying 10% of its price. The full payment may be made 30 days later, and you will be asked to sign a purchase contract as well. However, we suggest holding off paying the last 10% of the payment till you are absolutely sure that all the paperwork is in order and there is no mischief being done at your expense. This is important because you certainly wouldn’t want to be taken for a ride as a gullible foreigner.