Egypt's real estate market continues to surge

Egypt’s housing market continues to improve, amidst strong economic growth, coupled with the government’s tough economic reforms in recent years, particularly the recent liberalization of foreign land ownership rules in the country.

The nationwide real estate price index surged 28.4% in February 2023 from a year earlier, an acceleration from a y-o-y increase of 7.2% in February 2022, according to Egypt’s leading real estate portal Aqarmap. However, when adjusted for inflation, real estate prices actually fell by a modest 2.6% over the same period, amidst surging inflation.

Egypt’s house price annual change

Real estate prices increased strongly by 25.4% during 2022, following an annual rise of 3.6% in 2021 and a y-o-y decline of 9.6% in 2020.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi recently removed the last restrictions on foreign ownership of land and property in Egypt, in an effort to buoy the housing market. He also allowed the government, the biggest landowner in Egypt, to use its land for public-private partnership schemes. These improvements, together with the fundamentally strong local demand, are now beginning to boost the housing market and the overall economy in general.

In November 2016 Egypt floated the Egyptian pound (EGP), causing a dramatic depreciation against major currencies – making real estate more attractive from the perspective of the wealthy Egyptians. If he lives abroad, Egyptian property is much less expensive, because of the currency depreciation. In fact, in 2022, Egypt devalued again its domestic currency twice, with a pledge to adopt a flexible exchange-rate policy, eventually helping the country clinch a US$3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As a result, the average exchange rate reached EGP 30.81 per USD 1 in March 2023 – a more than 71% cumulative decline from its value of EGP 8.88 per USD 1 before the decision to float the currency in 2016.

Egypt exchange rate

There is a huge, real demand for housing in Egypt, as the country’s population increases by 2.5 million annually and there are about one million marriages taking place every year.

There is also increasing foreign demand in the country. Foreigners can buy property in Egypt, under Law No 230 of 1996. However, foreigners cannot buy more than two pieces of real estate, which cannot exceed 4,000 square meters (sq. m.), and their purpose must be for a family member to live in the property. If registered, the property cannot be sold or rented for five years.

In addition, the government implemented other reforms recently:

  • A value-added tax (VAT) was introduced.
  • Egypt’s Investment Law was amended to attract more foreign investors.
  • Fuel and electricity subsidies have been continuously reduced since 2014, as part of the government’s goal of reducing spending.
  • The price of sugar was raised by 40%.
  • The CBE has abolished a ‘priority list’ for imports.
  • The time and day limits during which banks are allowed to execute foreign currency exchanges have been extended.

Other initiatives included the launch of several mega-projects to boost economic growth, including the expansion of the Suez Canal and the construction of a new capital city.

“The implementation of structural reforms, supported by the IMF program, and the shift to a durably flexible exchange rate regime are expected to relieve the pressure on external financing and accelerate reforms,” said the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Egypt has successfully weathered the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its real GDP rising by 3.5% in 2020 and by another 3.3% in 2021. In fact, Egypt is the only nation in the MENA that avoided negative GDP growth during the onset of the pandemic. The economy expanded by a healthy 5%, on average, in the past seven years, as various economic reforms have successfully buoyed business investment and private consumption in the country.

After growing by an estimated 6.6% in 2022, the Egyptian economy is projected to grow by another 4% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Egypt’s housing cycle

Egypt has seen erratic house price movements in the past few years, buffeted by economic and political events.

Property prices in Egypt rose by 13.7% (4.5% in real terms) in 2005 but fell by 0.4% (-4.4% in real terms) in 2006 and by another 0.6% (-10.4% in real terms) in 2007, according to the 2008 Egypt Housing Survey conducted by Bearing Point Inc, which had a cross-Egypt sample. House prices fell further in 2008, due to the global crisis. In fact, by end-2009, house prices in the secondary market had fallen by about 37%, in real terms, according to local real estate analysts.

Egypt house price index

Egypt’s housing market strongly recovered in early-2010, mainly due to robust economic growth, rising by about 10% in 2010. For a long time, the housing market was then stable in real terms, with the nationwide real estate price index rising by 9% (-3.5% in real terms) in 2013 and by another 11.4% (2.6% in real terms) in 2014, according to the Aqarmap Real Estate Index.

In 2015, the housing market weakened again, with house prices falling by 4.7% (-14.2% in real terms), amidst political uncertainty and civil unrest. But the property market bounced back immediately, with house prices rising by 24.7% (1.2% in real terms) in 2016.

In 2017, house prices rose by 7.9% in nominal terms, but actually fell 11.5% when adjusted for inflation. The wide difference between the nominal and real figures was mainly due to extraordinarily high inflation during the period, after the government floated the Egyptian pound (EGP) in November 2016, causing a dramatic depreciation against major currencies. Other economic reforms, such as the reduction of fuel subsidies, have also broadly impacted households’ purchasing power in recent years, causing a temporary fall in real estate demand.

These have been compounded by the new coronavirus pandemic, with house prices falling by almost 10% during 2020 (-14.4% in real terms). With things slowly going back to normal, the Egyptian housing market is now showing huge improvements. House prices rose by a modest 3.6% (-2.2% in real terms) in 2021 before accelerating in 2022 by 25.4% (3.4% in real terms).

Local house price variations

Places near the center of Cairo notably still command higher per sq. m. prices than locations further out. A prime example is El Zamalek. Despite being very dense and noisy, Zamalek is still popular because of its very central location, and apartments there command prices that are double that of Dokki.

By contrast, even a luxurious gated community, such as Sheikh Zayed City, commands lower per sq. m. prices. This largely reflects people’s dislike of commuting.

In New Cairo, where the affluent district of Fifth Settlement is located, the average price of apartments rose strongly by 24.1% y-o-y to EGP 13,900 (US$453) per sq. m. in March 2023 while villa prices increased 8.5% to EGP 21,150 (US$690) per sq. m. over the same period, according to Aqarmap.

On the 6th of October, in one of the largest industrial zones in Egypt, apartment prices rose by 6% y-o-y to an average of EGP 7,900 (US$258) per sq. m. in March 2023, while villa prices fell by 2.3% to EGP 17,150 (US$559) per sq. m.

In Nasr City, Cairo’s biggest neighborhood, the average apartment price rose by 9.2% to EGP 8,300 (US$271) per sq. m. in March 2023 from a year earlier, and the average villa price surged by 21.8% to EGP 14,800 (US$483) per sq. m.

In El Maadi, a posh suburban district south of Cairo, the average apartment price increased 13.3% y-o-y to EGP 9,350 (US$ 305) per sq. m., and villa prices rose by 8% y-o-y to EGP 18,950 (US$ 618) per sq. m.

In El Sheikh Zayed City, an upscale integrated city known for its quietness, green areas, and moderate temperatures, apartment prices soared by 27.8% to EGP 13,100 (US$ 427) per sq. m. and villa prices increased by a modest 2.1% to EGP 19,150 (US$625) per sq. m.

In El Zamalek, an affluent district of western Cairo surrounding the northern portion of Gezira Island in the Nile River, the average apartment price stood at EGP22,400 (US$731) per sq. m. in March 2023, up by 9% from a year earlier, according to Aqarmap.


New Cairo 13,900 453 21,150 690
6th of October 7,900 258 17,150 559
El Sheikh Zayed 13,100 427 19,150 625
Heliopolis – Masr El Gedida 9,350 305 15,850 517
Nasr City 8,300 271 14,800 483
El Maadi 9,350 305 18,950 618
El Oubour 6,250 204 15,400 502
Faisal 3,700 121 - -
El Zamalek 22,400 731 - -
El Mohandeseen 12,000 392 22,000 718
Dokki 13,050 426 17,350 566
El Haram 4,400 144 12,600 411
Giza 5,000 163 7,900 258
Mokattam 7,800 255 13,000 424
Helwan 4,200 137 10,950 357
Ain Shams 4,150 135 - -
Badr 4,150 135 7,000 228
Garden City 17,600 574 - -
Downtown – West El Bald 9,150 299 - -
Hadayek El Koba 6,600 215 - -
Hadayek El Ahram 5,400 176 6,250 204
Shoubra 7,850 256 - -
El Agouza 8,800 287 - -
Manial 12,700 415 - -
El Abbasiya 8,200 268 - -
15th of May 4,300 140 13,550 442
El Sayyeda Zeinab 6,150 201 - -
El Khalifah 4,050 132 - -
El Omraneya 4,100 134 - -
New Heliopolis 7,650 250 10,050 328
New Administrative Capital 13,700 447 19,700 643
El Shorouk 12,650 413 24,350 795
Sources: Aqarmap, Global Property Guide

There are also numerous investment locations outside Greater Cairo:

On the North Coast, which covers entirely the northern territory of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea, apartment prices currently range from EGP16,600 (US$541) to EGP24,400 (US$795) per sq. m. while villa prices are around EGP14,600 (US$476) to EGP 23,400 (US$762) per sq. m.

Alexandria, one of Egypt’s largest cities, a principal seaport, and a major industrial hub, offers a wide range of residential properties. Currently, prices can go as low as EGP 3,750 (US$122) per sq. m. to as high as EGP20,000 (US$652), depending on location. Alexandria is best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

In Ain El Sokhna, a seaside city lying on the western shore of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Suez, residential property prices currently range from EGP 14,000 (US$456) to EGP 25,000 (US$815) per sq. m.

Residential construction activity slowed in 2022

About 18,000 residential units were completed in Cairo in 2022, down from about 25,000 completions in 2021, according to JLL’s Cairo Real Estate Market Overview 2022 report, amidst the uncertainty brought by the two successive devaluations of the domestic currency last year.

Egypt residential supply

“In light of two devaluations of the Egyptian pound against the US dollar last year, and forecasters anticipating a continued depreciation of the local currency in the short-term, many property developers have put sales activities and new project launches on hold,” stated the JLL report. “We have also noted that projects which were previously launched but have not seen construction on site have also been paused. This is in order to allow developers to appropriately plan both budgets and pricing strategies to at least reduce the risk of these being negated by further economic turbulence.”

This brought the total stock in Cairo to about 246,000 units by end-2022.

Residential construction is expected to strengthen again this year. For the full year of 2023, around 35,00 units are scheduled for completion in the capital city, according to JLL.

However, investments in the lower segments of the market remain weak. The country’s major developers tend to cater exclusively to the upper middle and upper classes due to the absence of efficient mortgage law.

Approximately 50% of the population is classified as lower income and around 37% of urban space in Egypt consists of informal settlements, while “unsafe slums” are roughly 1% of urban areas, according to Sherif El-Gohary of the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements.

Affordability remains a big issue for the poor

With a population of about 104 million in 2022, Egypt needs around 175,000 to 200,000 additional housing units each year and has a housing shortage of about 3 million. While there are approximately 5.6 million vacant units nationwide, most of these are beyond the means of the low and middle-income classes.

In response, President El-Sisi spearheaded the construction of one million housing units for low-income youth. The US$40 billion project was a collaboration with Arabtec Holding, a UAE company. Called “For the Youth”, the project planned to house low-income people in 13 cities across the country. However, after the project broke down, Egypt pursued its own housing program with local banks and the World Bank, providing homes to 241,517 families. The government also launched the Long Live Egypt Fund, a charitable fund to serve the poor and young Egyptians in housing and health. However, they are still inadequate to solve the country’s housing shortage and affordability problem.

About 44.4% of Egypt’s housing stock is occupied by owners, while about 35.7% of the housing stock is rented. Other tenure types are gifts, in-kind privileges (14.1%), and public housing (5.5%).

Low-income housing, usually priced around US$14,000 per unit remains unaffordable and most developers do not supply houses to this income group.

The price of the cheapest social housing units has risen, on average, by about 15% annually over the past decade, while average incomes only increased by 1% per year over the same period.

CBE raised key interest rates further to tame inflation

In March 2023, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decided to raise the overnight deposit rate, overnight lending rate, and the rate of main operations by 200 basis points to 18.25%, 19.25%, and 18.75%, respectively. The discount rate was also raised by 200 basis points to 18.75%, in an effort to tame inflation.

Egypt interest rates

“Annual urban headline inflation continued to increase to record 25.8 percent and 31.9 percent in January and February 2023, respectively. Similarly, annual core inflation recorded 31.2 percent in January 2023 and marked a historical high in February 2023 by recording 40.3 percent,” said the central bank in its MPC Press Release.

The continued surge in consumer prices was due to a combined impact of several factors, namely: supply chain disruptions, the depreciation of the Egyptian pound, demand-side pressures, and the seasonal impact of Ramadan, which impacted both Umrah trips and food prices.

“In light of the above, the MPC decided to raise policy rates by 200 bps and reiterates that the path of future policy rates remains a function of forecasted inflation rather than prevailing inflation rates,” the CBE added. The central bank sets an inflation target of 7%, on average, by Q4 2024 and 5% by Q4 2026.

Government’s finance program boosts mortgage market growth

The Egyptian mortgage market dates back to 2001 when Presidential Decree No. 277 created the Mortgage Finance Authority (MFA). But currently, Egypt’s mortgage market is equivalent to less than 1% of the country’s GDP, according to Mona El-Baradei of the Egyptian Banking Institute.

However, the mortgage market is now expected to grow rapidly due to government initiatives. The number of mortgage finance companies (MPC) operating in Egypt increased from only 2 in 2005 to 27 recently. These include Sakan, Al-Qula, EHFC, Egyptian Housing Finance Co., EMRC, Amlak, Al-Tayasor, Tamweel, Tamweel Emirates, Naeem, Al-Ahly, Arab African International, Al-Ahly United, and El Masreyin, according to the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA).

To address the housing shortage, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) launched a mortgage finance program in 2014 to finance low-income housing projects - allocating EGP 20 billion (US$653 million) to banks in the form of deposits, to benefit low-income citizens.

In February 2016, the program was expanded to increase the number of beneficiaries and to add a new segment of low-income citizens at a lower interest rate of 5%. In addition, above-middle-income citizens were also included at an interest rate of 10.5%.

Earlier in 2016, the CBE allocated EGP500 million (US$16.3 million) to mortgage companies for the first tranche of the program. Moreover, 14 banks provided EGP 5 billion (US$163.2 million) to finance 62,000 housing units as part of the program, according to Mai Abdel Hamid, the head of the Mortgage Finance Fund.

In March 2020, the World Bank approved a loan for Egypt’s Mortgage Finance Fund worth US$ 5oo million to finance the country’s social housing programs.

To help struggling borrowers during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government temporarily reduced interest rates from its mortgage finance program and ordered MPCs to provide a six-month grace period to any client on request.

Then in 2021, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi directed the CBE to launch a new mortgage funding program for low- and middle-income individuals with long-term loans of up to 30 years and with low and simplified interest rates not exceeding 3%.

In February 2023, the contribution of the 22 banks that participated in the government’s mortgage finance program for low-income housing reached about EGP 54.3 billion (US$1.77 billion), benefiting around 474,200 individuals. The banks with the biggest contribution by February 2023 include:

  • National Bank of Egypt (NBE): EGP 15.5 billion (US$504.1 million) equivalent to 27.3% share, benefitting 133,864 individuals
  • Banque Misr: EGP 13.3 billion (US$433 million) equivalent to 23.4% share, benefitting 111,153 customers
  • HDB: EGP 6.7 billion (US$216.8 million) or 11.7% share, benefitting 70,152 customers
  • Banque du Caire: EGP3.4 billion (US$111.8 million) representing about 6.1% share, benefitting 35,958 individuals
  • CIB: EGP3.1 billion (US$101.1 million) for 23,774 people, which is equivalent to a 5.5% share
  • QNB Alahli: EGP2.4 billion (US$79.1 million) for 17,598 customers, accounting for about 4.3% share
  • Industrial Development Bank: EGP1.8 billion (US$57.9 million) for 16,345 customers, accounting for a total share of 3.1%
  • United Bank: EGP1.7 billion (US$55.8 million) representing 3% share and benefitting 12,918 customers
  • Arab African International Bank: EGP1.2 billion (US$37.9 million) or 2.1% share, benefitting 9,969 customers
  • Mashreq Bank: EGP741 million (US$24.2 million) for 4,698 customers, representing a share of 1.3%

The rental market remains resilient

Rents for high-end residential properties in Cairo, which are sometimes paid in US dollars, continue to rise, supported by strong demand.

In the 6th of October district, apartment rentals rose by 9% y-o-y in during 2022, according to JLL, following annual increases of 2% in 2021 and 8% in 2020. In New Cairo, rentals for apartments rose by a modest 3% in 2022 from a year earlier, after rising by 1% in 2021 and 5% two years ago.

“Indeed, affordability constraints have led many to instead opt for renting rather than purchasing a property,” said JLL. “This was reflected in rents growing annually on 6th October by 9% and by around 3% in New Cairo. In the short term, we expect the growth in rents to pick up pace as demand continues to build momentum.”

Expats looking for apartments prefer direct methods rather than using realtors. One of the most popular methods is going to the American University in Cairo to look for apartment ads. Another one is going directly to the residential building of choice, and asking the bawab or doorman for vacancies.

The ambitious ‘New Administrative Capital’

The Cairo metropolitan area is now nearing 20 million people, making it one of the most congested cities in the world. In fact, traffic costs amounted to about 4% of Egypt’s entire GDP, according to World Bank estimates.

To address these problems, the Egyptian government has been building a new administrative and financial capital since 2015. Originally dubbed “Cairo Capital” and “global city for Egypt’s future”, the New Administrative Capital will address crowding, pollution, and rising house prices in Cairo. The proposed city will be developed in phases over 40 years, according to then-housing minister, Mostapha Madbouly. Phase 1 is estimated to cost about US$45 billion.

The new capital, which is located about 40 km east of Cairo, is being built on 69,000 hectares – about two times the size of Cairo.

The new capital could house up to 7 million people, with the initial plans including 21 residential districts housing 1.1 million residential units, 40,000 hotel rooms, 663 healthcare facilities, 1.8 million sq. m. of residential space, and 1,250 mosques and churches.

The new capital city is envisioned as a “Smart City” which will “take advantage of the sustainable technologies of today as well as be adaptable to future technologies,” according to Cairo Capital’s website.

Currently, however, residential property prices in the New Administrative Capital have risen to levels that are out of reach to mid-level employees with an annual average income of just US$4,800.

The Sisi regime and army rule

Previous President Mohammed Morsi succeeded Hosni Mubarak in June 2012 but was ousted by a military coup on July 3, 2013. Current president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the ex-general who led the coup, has launched a crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood supporters, and cemented army rule.

Among the thousands of Muslim Brotherhood sympathizers in jail are dozens, if not hundreds, of secular activists jailed for their political activities. Meanwhile, a growing number of liberals have left the country to go abroad, since no opposition is allowed, and any opposition, even humorous comment, can result in immediate arrest and long prison terms. Authorities have also ordered travel bans and asset freezes against prominent human rights organizations.

Under the Sisi regime, the commercial reach of the military has greatly expanded. The army is all over the place. More than 50 hotels are run by the army, their profits never declared; new petrol station licenses go exclusively to Wataneya, an army-controlled company, with soldiers manning the petrol pumps; pasta is sold by Macarona Queen, an army company; mineral water is sold by Safi, an army-controlled company; all the major toll roads are run by the military; an army department called the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces buys houses and lands for commercial purposes, again wholly exempt from any audit or taxation.

All these companies are run by military men, in military uniform, with conscript soldiers often doing the menial work. Unsurprisingly, some claim that the military’s commercial reach expanded rapidly in recent years, now constituting between 20% and 25% of GDP.

This is not all. In August 2018, President Sisi inaugurated a 500-hectare cement production complex located in the city of Beni Suef. The US$1.1 billion cement plant, considered the largest in the Middle East, is owned by El-Areesh Cement Co for Cement, which is controlled by the armed forces. There is no Parliamentary oversight of any of these activities.

It is a system of daily corruption. Military-controlled projects are mostly built by the Engineering Department of the Armed Forces – building civil and military infrastructure, bridges, schools, tourist projects, the development of all sports activities, plus low-income housing projects, and urbanistic projects.

The army is happy to sell land to foreign companies, such as to the French supermarket chain Carrefour. But foreign enterprises become involved at their own risk, always open to the likelihood of being squeezed, into a situation where the army makes the law.

In May 2017, Sisi approved a new law that aims to regulate non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Egypt. The law makes it impossible for NGOs to function independently, as it strictly controls the funding of NGOs and gives the government the authority to monitor and challenge their day-to-day activities.

Despite these abuses, the sycophantic press daily sings the praises of the regime. Egyptian TV channels, which are very numerous and have enormous audiences in a country of high illiteracy, talk about the wonderful achievements of Sisi, the great genius of Sisi, the admiration of foreign leaders for Sisi, and complain about the viciousness of the Qatari-Iranian-Turkish conspiracies against Egypt.

In March 2018, Sisi won a second term against a sole minor opposition candidate. More serious challengers, including human rights lawyer Khalid Ali and former PM Ahmad Shafiq, withdrew from the race, and former armed forces chief of staff Sami Anan was arrested.

Then during the 2020 parliamentary elections, Egypt’s Mostaqbal Watn Party, which is a strong supporter of Sisi, secured nearly 55% of the contested seats. The Parliament was already controlled by Sisi supporters, but Mostaqbal Watn sharply increased its share of seats from 57 to 315 in the 596-seat chamber.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the chronic weaknesses of Egypt’s underfunded public health system – which Sisi pledged to reform at the start of his presidency. Health budgets rose in recent years but remain far below Sisi’s targeted spending of 3% of GDP. In fact, in 2019, the healthcare budget was just around 1.3% to 1.8% of GDP.

To fight the pandemic, the government increased its allocated spending for health care by 46% y-o-y to EGP 258 billion (US$ 8.35 billion) in its 2020/2021 budget. Then in the 2021/2022 budget, the government allocated about EGP 109 billion (US$3.53 billion) to the health sector.

An ambitious new health insurance system is on the way, which promises to revolutionize public health care and make it accessible to the poor. But the new system will take up to 15 years to roll out.

Egypt’s economy remains robust

Egypt has successfully weathered the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with its real GDP rising by 3.5% in 2020 and by another 3.3% in 2021. In fact, Egypt is the only nation in the MENA that avoided negative GDP growth during the onset of the pandemic. The economy expanded by a healthy 5%, on average, in the past seven years, as various economic reforms have successfully buoyed business investment and private consumption in the country.

Egypt gdp unemployment

After growing by an estimated 6.6% in 2022, the Egyptian economy is projected to grow by another 4% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Egypt’s budget deficit stood at about 6.8% of GDP in FY22/23, following shortfalls of 6.2% in FY21/22, 6.8% in FY21/20, and 8% in FY20/19, amidst higher interest costs and returns on Egyptian debt instruments.

The country’s budget this fiscal year, which ends on June 30, reached EGP 9.2 trillion (US$298 billion), up by 16.3% as compared to the prior year and the highest ever recorded. Egypt pledged the IMF to attain an overall budget deficit of 6% of GDP and to raise the initial surplus by 1.6% in FY 22/23 – one of the conditions under the new IMF-backed US$3 billion deal approved in December 2022.

Egypt inflation

Unemployment was 7.2% in Q4 2022, slightly down from 7.4% in the previous year. Egypt’s unemployment rate averaged 11.1% from 2011 to 2021, according to the IMF.

In February 2023, headline inflation surged to 31.9%, sharply up from just 8.8% in February 2022 and 4.5% in February 2021, based on figures from CAPMAS. This was far above the central bank’s target range of 5% to 9%, mainly due to a weaker Egyptian pound after a series of devaluations last year. Likewise, the core inflation accelerated to 40.3% in February 2023, the highest level seen in recent history.

Investment hotspots

Buying opportunities in Egypt - and particularly the newly-built opportunities - can be conceptually divided into three areas: Cairo, the Red Sea, and the Mediterranean Coast.

1. Cairo

  • Emaar’s Uptown Cairo

Constructed by the developer EmaarMisr, the EGP 12 billion (US$388 million) Uptown Cairo offers several residential villages, a golf course, malls, sports, and leisure facilities, as well as a business park. This is the first wholly foreign-owned developer to enter the Egyptian market.

In March 2023, apartment and villa prices were more or less steady, at average prices of EGP25,500 (US$825) and EGP 26,900 (US$871) per sq. m., respectively, based on figures from Aqarmap.

2. Red Sea

  • Katameya Heights

The super-luxurious Katameya Heights launched prior to Uptown Cairo, covers an area of about 1.5 million sq. m. Katameya Heights, introduced in 1997, was purely local. Formerly a stretch of desert, Katameya Heights is now a large suburban area, with large houses, and has attracted enormous interest. The resort offers a marvelous clubhouse, a beautifully designed golf course, and luxurious villas.

  • Rehab City

Rehab City, a real estate development located in New Cairo, is being developed by Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG). The development is located on the Cairo-Suez road. It offers many shopping malls and a cinema complex. Rehab City is preferred by many upper middle-class locals.

In March 2023, the average apartment price stood at EGP 16,000 (US$518) per sq. m. while villa prices averaged EGP 22,850 (US$739) per sq. m., based on figures from Aqarmap.

  • Madinaty

With a total budget of EGP 60 billion (US$1.94 billion), Madinaty is considered one of the biggest and most expensive real estate developments in New Cairo. Developed by Talaat Moustafa Group (TMG), it includes 80,000 residential villas, townhouses, and apartments. There are also recreational and commercial areas, schools, medical facilities, and hotels. Madinaty is adjacent to El Shrouq City.

Construction began in July 2006 and stopped for 7 years while the developer was in prison accused of murdering his mistress.

In March 2023, the average apartment price was EGP 18,650 (US$603) per sq. m. while the average villa price was EGP 23,550 (US$762) per sq. m., according to Aqarmap.

  • New Cairo City

Emaar Misr is also building a 5,000-home 3.8 m sq. m. project, in New Cairo City. The development is considered a new extension to Cairo, the capital. New Cairo City, when completed, is expected to feature several villages offering gated villas, townhouses, and high-rise apartments.

Mivida is an EGP 6 billion (US$194 million) residential development located in the fifth district of New Cairo City. The 3.8 million sq. m. development features 5,000 apartments, townhouses, and villas.

  • Sharm el Sheikh

Sharm el Sheikh is now the country’s most luxurious and attractive resort, newer and more upscale than Hurghada, and is host to 5-star hotels and international conferences. Sharm has a vibrant nightlife and boasts many nightclubs, the longest continuous bar in the Middle East, and a marina that can handle private yachts and sailboats. Zoning laws limit building heights, which have prevented the surroundings’ natural beauty from being spoiled by high rises.

Sharm’s development has been led by tourism, though hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton have sold private villas. New residential developments tend to follow this hotel-based pattern, such as the Sierra Resort Nabq Bay; the Laguna Vista Residence in Naqb Bay; the Carlton Resort, Hadava. Fully residential is Montazah in Ras Nasranr.

  • Hurghada

Hurghada is the most popular seaside resort in Egypt, though it is overcrowded and now slightly seedy. Hurghada has an international airport with direct flights to major European countries, as well as flights to Cairo. The city is divided into three parts: Downtown (the old part); Sekalla (the city center); and El Memsha (the modern part).

  • Gamsha Bay

In Gamsha Bay, 60 kilometers north of Hurghada, a 320 million sq. m. tourism and housing project is being developed by Damac, which developed the Dubai Towers and will be completed over 10 years. The development has a total budget of EGP 2.9 billion (US$93.8 million).

  • Sahl Hasheesh

Eighteen kilometers South of Hurghada lies Sahl Hasheesh Bay, where a purpose-built resort flanking 12.5 kilometers of sandy beach was built. Covering 32 million square metres, by the time it was completed in 2014. Sahl Hasheesh has 20 5-star hotels and 8 golf courses. The Egyptian Resorts Company (ERC) owns exclusive development rights.

  • Port Ghalib

Much further south near Marsah Alam, two and a half hours from Luxor, the Port Ghalib project is being developed by the Al Kharafi Group of Kuwait along 18 kilometers of shoreline. It opened in November 2007. Marsah Alam has a newly-built international airport, an international convention center, a man-made lagoon, and a multiplicity of sports facilities. The Port Ghalib marina is now classed as an official new Port of Entry to Egypt.

3. Mediterranean Coast

  • Marassi

The Marassi resort, worth around EGP9.92 billion (US$321 million), is being developed by Emaar. It is located on a 7-km coastline at Sidi Abdel Rahman on the Mediterranean near El Alamein. Marassi Resort will offer up to 3,000 hotel rooms, luxury villas, chalets, a marina, an 18-hole golf course, and healthcare facilities. Currently, a three-bedroom chalet in Marassi costs around EGP6 million (US$194,000) to EGP 20 million (US$647,000), based on Property Finder listings.

  • Almaza Bay

Travco, the main German tour, launched Almaza Bayat Marsa Matruh in 2014, located on the Mediterranean between Alexandria and Libya. The Almaza Bay Resort has a total area of 5 million sq. m. and boasts about 2.5 km of flawless beachfront in one of the most pristine beaches in the world. According to Travco’s official website, Almaza Bay features almost 2,000 residential units, an active marina, a retail urban center, food & beverage and outdoor dining, a sporting club, and several open space activities.

Apartment prices in Almaza Bay start from EGP2.9 million (US$93,800) and can reach up to EGP4.3 million (US$139,000). On the other hand, townhouses and villas are sold from EGP 7 million (US$226,500) to EGP 10 million (US$323,700). Units that are located directly at the beach are priced as high as EGP 40 million (US$1.3 million).

The three major developments in Almaza Bay include the Jaz Almaza Beach Resort, Jaz Crystal Resort, and Jaz Oriental Resort.