By Maha Abdel Azim
A draft law has been ratified to facilitate property registration in new cities and provide better access to housing loans for low income individuals, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Cooperation Ziad Bahaa El Din said in a statement released on Thursday.
The decision came after several meetings had been held between the concerned parties to discuss measures of granting mortgage loans and facilitating social housing and property registration in new cities.
The new laws will establish real estate offices in every city in Egypt for the purpose of registering each phase as soon as it is completed. This law includes all new cities registered under the Urban Communities Authority, such as the First and Fifth Settlements.
The meeting, which was chaired by Bahaa El Din and Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Ibrahim Mehleb, also discussed the proposed amendments of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) to Real Estate Finance Law.
The most important of these amendments was an increase in the legal lending limit for individuals and establishing mechanisms for the Mortgage Finance Fund to finance and provide housing for lower income individuals.
Managing Director of the Egyptian Housing Finance Company Hala Bassiouni, who also attended Thursday’s meeting, expected a very positive effect on Egypt’s mortgage finance market.
The higher lending limits would also allow a larger population segment to benefit from real estate finance with no greater risk of defaulting, since loans will be preceded by the regular procedures and financial evaluations, she said.
The meeting also highlighted another proposal by the Housing Ministry to ease the conditions for lower income individuals’ access to housing provided by the ministry.
The details of the amendments were not discussed in Bahaa El Din’s statement. However, the reforms were intended to stimulate Egypt’s mortgage finance market.
These three proposals will be submitted to the cabinet for further discussion by the end of next week, according to the statement.
The reforms were met with enthusiasm by expert on Real Estate Investment and previous Executive Manager of AlTaamir Company for Housing and Development Real Estate Investment, Ashraf Ramzy.
He expected the reforms to make property registration easier and more transparent, while stimulating Egypt’s real estate market by providing lower income individuals with greater access to housing loans.