Is criticism of Egypt's real estate sector warranted?

Discussion in 'Egypt property' started by totallyproperty, May 15, 2014.

  1. Mantis

    Mantis New Member

    I have to ask Neil, how would you know an honest developer? A reliable agent or even a trustworthy Egyptian lawyer after all that has gone down before? After all the corruption that has been exposed over the last six years there are only a few left to give us answers.

    Who would you put your trust in now without advertising?
    I expect another flood of agents promoting fictitious projects again soon and I am worried the rats will surface again in Egypt to take money from the gullible ones who don't research or take your advice. Pity the Chinese, they won't know what is waiting for them and the locals will think the money train is back on track.

    Last edited: May 23, 2014
  2. NeilHollingsworth

    NeilHollingsworth New Member

    Hi John, you need to look at who is in the market now and who is doing things right, check reviews, ask questions, use forums like this one as they are great for exposing the untrustworthy ones. With these great forums, review sites, Google searches, if you do something wrong someone will write about it somewhere, there is nowhere for the crooks to hide these days.

    As I have said before, research and homework, it's not going to be 100% but the amount of people I have contacting me for help after they have paid all their money upfront on projects you just know will never be built. Generally the more lavish a project is, the less chance there is it is going to be built, if someone tells me it will have a roof top pool I won't entertain it. How many roof top pools do you see in Egypt, they don't have the capabilities to build roof top pools (this could of course change and some builders/developers may manage it), but until I see one I will keep my current views.

    As for lawyers, there is one I know of on the British Embassy list that shouldn't be there, and I know a lot of people have informed the Embassy he shouldn't be on their list. So, again, research ask questions and if you find one that has been used by several people and delivered then might be worth using, several charge higher fees so they can give backhanders to agents that recommend them, so if they charge you more than £500 (this is about the price good lawyers charge and include the Signature Validity), take a step back. Ask them what you are getting for your money, sign an agreement so if you don't get what you have paid for you can take action.

    As for developers and agents, I can't answer that without advertising as we only work with developers/builders we have built trust with and checked out, so if I list them here it would be advertising (sorry).

    Hope that helps?
  3. Mantis

    Mantis New Member

    With all the effort gone into getting this forum back online you would have thought more property speculators would join and comment.

    It seems obvious now that western investors have learned some hard lessons from Egypt and are either staying away or investing elsewhere.

    Marketing companies are wondering if the Egyptian authorities have realised the errors of their mistakes over the last decade. If those who want to see changes and clear regulations in force then they should be prepared to talk to professionals of the world outside of Egypt's tunnel visioned views of its residential market.

    We welcome any Egyptian Government official to this forum if only to understand the current tension in the marketplace and help address these issues.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  4. NeilHollingsworth

    NeilHollingsworth New Member

    John, the Egyptian Government is taking note of what is happening especially in Hurghada with certain companies, we are in direct contact with Mr Hisham Zazou the Tourism Minister, who has arranged meetings with our lawyers in Cairo and the TDA. The TDA Chairman and their legal team are in discussions with us on how to move some issues forward and also brining in the Red Sea Governorate to assist.

    I very much doubt you would get any officials to come on to a forum though.
  5. Mantis

    Mantis New Member

    If officials never listen to public opinion, what good would promoters do in any discussions?

    All they ever want is to promote, never fix.

  6. NeilHollingsworth

    NeilHollingsworth New Member

    Quite the opposite John, the whole industry needs fixing first because if it isn't fixed who are promoters going to promote too, with all the bad press generated by the individuals intent on stealing investors money investors will stay away? We want to eradicate the ones that continue to ruin the real estate market, the promoting will be for the ones in the real estate market doing things right.

    Over the past 2-3 years there are a couple of builders that are doing things right and investors are getting their apartments, using them and fantastic little communities are growing.

    Now the Ministers and Authorities are involved hopefully we can protect investors even more going forward.
  7. Mantis

    Mantis New Member

    You may be correct, but the rules are too grey for anyone to believe are legal. My point is that the Residential Authority needs to communicate with the overseas market professionals before they repeat the same errors.

    We tried to create an international body some years back. The first attempt was the RTDA. This Residential Tourism Development Association appointed only Egyptians to its board of directors. That failed. Then it was tried again and reformed as the Egyptian Residential Tourism Development Authority.

    Guess what? They again only had Egyptians as directors with the Chairman clearly using the platform to promote and not regulate with reforms. If they keep repeating the same rubbish then you and others are wasting your effort. Nothing will change and investors (apart from Arab states) will stay away.

  8. Peter Mitry

    Peter Mitry <B>Egypt Forum Founder Member</B>

    Unfortunately John the new government may find it has bigger issues to address in the short term than regulation of the property market and it will fall to the few agents still active in Egypt to seek out the new and established Developers that have delivered on their promises and to avoid the 'get rich quick' ones who have been only too keen to take clients deposits and stage payments and disappear into the night.

    The market will recover as there will always be people who will want property in the sunshine which is a relatively short distance from home.

    The problem is that, apart from the very few more reliable Developers that we know, there is still the potential for new ones to enter the market with the same inherent risks as before.

    Safeguards must eventually be written in to law so we must get officialdom to comment through the forum, if only to help them realise the extent of the problem and the opportunity to boost the residential tourism industry by putting things right.

    Then we come to the legal system; most of us have experienced the apathy and outright criminal behaviour of many in the Egyptian legal system. I am sure that there are good lawyers out there who must feel extremely chastened by the many criticism's of their profession; maybe it is time for some of the better ones to step up to the plate and become a shining light to show the others the way forwards?

    Getting a fair deal for buyers entering the market and a legal system which protects buyers rather than exploiting them is the only way we will ever bring sanity into the Egyptian property market.
  9. Peter Mitry

    Peter Mitry <B>Egypt Forum Founder Member</B>

    I totally agree with you John; if Egypt wants to encourage Residential Tourism then the new government must do all in it's power to put things right, and that means providing spokesmen to read forums like this and be prepared to listen, take note and comment to give reassurance to future buyers/investors.

    The Green Card system of property registration is too cumbersome and the more general system of Signature Validation, used in around 90%+ of all transactions, is open to abuse.

    It is true that only one person can register a particular property in the courts but anyone with a POA from a Developer has the right to register which is how many cowboy Developers have managed to sell the same property to more than one buyer. This practice must be stopped if we want confidence returned to the market.
  10. Mantis

    Mantis New Member

    All too often Peter the authorities have created a platform for international bodies to share opinions, explain the state of the market and offer support, only for these conferences and seminars to be hijacked by marketers with ulterior agendas. Projects are either halted mid-way by legal issues or bought out by family speculators once progress is made. Very few units make the final ownership registrations.

    We delegates spend fortunes on P.R. and visits to such farcical exhibitions and seminars but to no avail. The authorities never listen. The mind-set is clear, Egypt is out to benefit its own nationals while foreign investment as current polls suggest will never feel secure. Risks are just too great, unless we are an oil-magnate that is and they don't read such blogs.

    Finally, no such protective body exists that can help with reform. AIPP are renowned to be sales orientated and a clique taking monies for membership purely to promote and not protect. Not all buyers are mugs !

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  11. Peter Mitry

    Peter Mitry <B>Egypt Forum Founder Member</B>

    This may certainly have been the case in the past and it is likely to still be the case now, however, those of us with an interest in getting the industry back on it's feet must continue to press for reforms and continue to bang this particular drum until someone listens. We have some good Developers who in the main do exactly what they say on the box and until things change we will continue to support the good guys until the government introduce legislation to give us and our clients more confidence.
  12. Mantis

    Mantis New Member

    There has never been an Egyptian Government mandate to reform this crooked industry Peter.

    Even now, an elected President is still part of what is called the "Deep State" which no doubt will resemble the old NDP regime in manner and corruption BECAUSE there is no body of opposition or even a collective that can challenge the existing rules of engagement. Rules designed by Mubarak and Aziz who are now in jail pending sentencing. Of course that could change now and release would make the farce go full circle.

    Meanwhile tens of thousands of existing buyers still receive nothing.
    Does that sound like good investment? Or even a recipe for change?

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
  13. NeilHollingsworth

    NeilHollingsworth New Member


    The Egyptian builders/developers would struggle to promote their developments to foreign investors without foreign agents, so if these agents were more diligent on what developments they promoted it would safe guard the investors.

    This would also put the crooked developers/builders out of business, but the problem is most agents just see commissions and will promote/sell whatever gives them a return. So it is not only the Egyptians that need reform, it is the whole industry including agents (which I see as more important because if an agent won't promote a project it won't be sold)

    The new CEO of the AIPP is putting in a lot of work on trying to do more in regulating the industry but I agree there needs to be a lot more done and not just in Egypt, the whole industry should have a proper Governing Body like the FSA/FCA and membership should be compulsory not voluntary.
  14. Mantis

    Mantis New Member

    I agree entirely Neil.
    However it would only work if there would be supervisors or an ombudsman with any sort of body you propose.
    Egypt would not approved, they are too stubborn.

    Every coin has two sides. Everyone has two eyes, ears and vital organs.
    In property sales there are agents and builders - and there is the customer.

    The customer has the money the project requires. If they do not spend no-one gets a penny.

    Therefore, in this buyer's market the government must realise that it is the customer who holds the balance of power, not the officials or the seller or the builder.

    The industry is dead. We have stopped its life-blood for 5 years now. How much longer are the authorities going to carry on without our funds?

    All they need to do is talk to us.

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  15. piecat

    piecat New Member

    contract challenge

    Please please Can you help with 2 issues
    I bought an egyptian property with a female friend in 2003 + in 2009 i completed paperwork to buy her 50% of the flat. The original buyer/seller docs in arabic & english were both notarised & stamped by uk embassy & & an egyptian lawyer compkete the process which took about 20 months (the court wrote to my friend about 3 times asking her if she agreed she was selling over a period of about 9 months) after this I got a very big documentwith lots of sticky stamps + other stamps which was my proof that I now sole owner. The 1st page was long & there were smaller pages behind it.

    Unfortunately Safe was stolen and I need to get a copy. The lawyer (based in Tanta) who completed this process is in Saudi Arabia & I cannot contact him. I do not which court this document came from ( it took about 20 months to complete). I need to sell this property and am really struggling to find the court. Can anyone help or advise me, 1: what this contact is called & which court issued it. I am british national & my property is in sharm el shiekh. . Any help much appreciated. Thanks:hmmmm2:

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