Egyptian real estate firm Palm Hills Developments aims to bid on 410 feddans (426 acres) of land due to be sold next month in the Cairo suburb of Sheikh Zayed City, an executive said on Tuesday.
Six companies including property developer SODIC have picked up bidding documents for the auction, one of Egypt’s largest since 2007, daily Al-Mal reported.
Analysts and local media have framed the auction as a barometer of the strength of Egypt’s real estate sector and the buying power of its main developers.
"The land auction indicates the revival of developers’ interest in the real estate market," HC analyst Ankur Khetawat said, adding he expected the land to fetch between LE 900 to LE 1200 ($158-$211) per square meter.
Land had sold for between LE 800 and LE 900 per square meter in previous auctions, he said. Another analyst said he expected the land to fetch slightly less than previous auctions.
Palm Hills Investor Relations Manager Bassem El Shawy said the company had picked up documents describing the terms of the bids and was studying a bid on the Sheikh Zayed land.
"We obtained the term sheet for the bid and our exact willingness to bid or not will depend on the terms, which we are studying at the moment," he said.
"We will be showing our interest once we finalize studying the terms."
Strong local demand and being insulated from international credit markets helped Egypt’s property sector come through the global financial crisis better than many other countries.
But an undersized mortgage market and other hurdles have tempered the ability of many Egyptians to afford homes in the luxury developments which have mushroomed in Cairo’s rapidly growing suburbs.