February 2011: Real estate in Egypt and Tunisia amid political crisis

The demand for residential real estate in Egypt and Tunisia has attracted a keen interest of Russian investors over the past 10-20 years. Investments in overseas property, especially in housing in the resorts of the Mediterranean coast, are conditioned and dictated by objective reasons, favorable conditions.

Let’s discuss investments in ordinary residential real estate, since the elite housing market on any coast develops according to its own laws. The attractiveness of overseas housing in the resorts of North African countries for purchase with subsequent income is determined by the following parameters:

  • Affordable (low) property prices.
  • Annual profit from 15% and more.
  • Resort area: proximity to the sea / ocean, comfortable beaches, warm climate.
  • Reasonable maintenance costs
  • High (relatively) standard of living at low cost.
  • Political stability in the country.

There are other prerequisites for purchasing housing in Egypt or Tunisia, they are associated with favorable conditions and procedures for the acquisition of real estate for foreigners in each country. Long-term economic and political stability, the low cost of one square meter of living space in finished apartments / houses and in new buildings, the ability to profitably rent the purchased housing or live in it, while spending small amounts on maintenance, and all this against the background of the luxurious surrounding nature allowed to consider investments in real estate in Egypt and Tunisia attractive and reliable.

Egypt

However, since January 25, 2011, mass riots begin in Egypt, numerous demonstrations and protests against the 30-year rule of the current President Hosni Mubarak take place. The country, in which tens of thousands of tourists from different countries of the world came to rest every day, was on the brink of a civil war. Of course, these circumstances led to the fact that most vacationers left the most popular resorts, and travel agencies suspended the sale of vouchers..

The political situation in the country is reflected in all aspects of life, the real estate market in Egypt is undergoing the influence of the political and economic crisis. Most Russian and European investors have decided to postpone the planned purchases of housing and land. According to estimated data, the decrease in demand for housing purchase may be from 30 to 50%, in particular for real estate in Cairo and the resorts of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.

Before the January events, the average cost per square meter of living space in Cairo was from $ 600, in popular resorts – from $ 1000. In the days of the crisis and riots, housing prices fell, and on the official websites of developers, construction companies and real estate agencies, you can find offers with a reduction in the value of real estate by up to 30%. But this does not mean at all that all sellers are ready to reduce the price of previously demanded housing in resort areas. It will take at least two to three months, during which the main developers and sellers of real estate in the Egyptian market will determine their position and set new prices or return to the previous ones..

Experts: The Egyptian real estate market will “sag” to a minimum and the cost of housing will drop by 70-80%.

According to reliable data, the most daring or enterprising investors are buying housing in resort areas and currently, taking advantage of the situation and instability of the real estate market in Egypt. It should be emphasized that, as a rule, demand and prices for apartments and houses are recovering slowly, which means that the real estate market will return to the positions of the beginning of 2011 only in a few months. Some experts suggest that the Egyptian real estate market will “sag” to a minimum and the cost of housing will drop by 70-80%. But to be convinced of the validity of this assumption or completely refute it, investors and those wishing to become homeowners will be able to only in a few weeks or months..

Tunisia

The real estate market in Tunisia can be called young and promising for foreign investors, because until 2009 the government limited the influx of foreign buyers, trying primarily to provide the local population with housing. The cost per square meter of living space in Tunisia, which is of interest to foreigners, is determined by the region of the country, distance from the coast and airports, and the proximity of large cities. Of course, the type of housing affects the pricing: a two-storey villa on the coast with a private beach and a garden will differ from an apartment in a residential building near the sea costing a square meter.

According to Real Estate Abroad, a penthouse in a new elite residential complex 25 meters from the sea will cost the new owner € 2000 / 1sq.m, and one-bedroom apartments in a new townhouse 35 meters from the beach are sold for € 700/1 sq. m. The average price for land is from € 100-400 per 1 sq. m. m. depending on the distance from the coast. Sometimes in the real estate market of Tunisia, islands in the warm sea, with their own beaches and buildings, are put up for sale. The main reasons for attracting private capital to real estate in Tunisia are hidden in reasonable prices, in a visa-free regime for Russian citizens, fast flight (direct flights from Russian capital cities take 4-5 hours), developed infrastructure, mild climate, safety, low crime rate, good medical service and a relatively high standard of living.

Mass riots and riots in Tunisia in December / January 2011, the overthrow of President Zine Abidine Ben Ali influenced the development of the real estate market in the country.

Many large foreign investors have left the country, large construction projects have been “frozen”, and purchase and sale transactions have been suspended. However, in February 2011, the situation in the country stabilized, cities and resorts were put in order, airports and train stations were operating as usual. In the near future, the Tunisian government promises to abolish the “curfew” and ensure complete security for foreigners in the country renewed after the revolutionary events.

Tunisia and Egypt are two African countries that maintain friendly relations with Russia and are interested in continuing ties between the countries in all respects. The development of the real estate market of these countries is impossible without the participation of foreign partners and private investment.

Based on the above, we can conclude that investing in real estate in Tunisia and Egypt will necessarily turn into a profitable profit or the opportunity to relax in your own “house” on the shore of the warm sea. It is important to choose the right place on the map of these countries and the time when to invest your funds in real estate of Mediterranean resorts.

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