Egypt is a truly iconic part of the world. It is home to one of the oldest continuously-existing civilizations in the world, and just saying the country's name immediately conjures up images of pyramids, the Nile and colorful ancient artwork.
For the most part, Egypt today has a strong reputation as a truly major tourist destination, and also as home to the Arab world's second biggest economy. In the past, this has led to a strong market for property investment. However, there is no getting away from the fact that this situation has been significantly damaged by recent events.
Political unrest and uncertainty over how the new president will be tackling the country's problems have hit both the tourist and real estate markets in Egypt. The country's vast tourist appeal has certainly suffered, with the number of foreign visitors falling sharply. Since much of the demand for property in the country centers around accommodating large number of visitors, the real estate market has suffered as a result of the declining tourist industry. What previously looked like solid investment opportunities have taken knocks to both value and demand.
For those who currently hold investments in Egypt, good news may seem thin on the ground at the moment. But could this be the right moment for those looking to enter the market for the first time? There are some signs this might be the case. Low purchase prices are one of the factors that have previously been drawing property investors into Egypt, and this is one thing that the country's recent problems have reinforced. For very small properties such as studio apartments, prices can start well under £10,000.
The key question is, therefore, whether the market will pick up again. If it does, then those who get in now while values are low could secure a sound investment at a bargain price, and experience significant capital growth when things recover. Certainly, the risk element is greater than some past investors anticipated, but many investors and experts predict that the market will indeed spring back when things die down. As recently as April, it was reported that property prices are expected to climb 15% this year with a recovery taking place in the final months of 2014 and the start of 2015. Some feel that signs of this recovery are already being shown.
Egypt is iconic as a tourist destination and, with a combination of world-class historic sites and warm sandy beaches, has a two-pronged approach to attracting visitors. As such, following a recovery it will be well-placed to resume its status as a highly tourist-driven property investment market.
Historically, many of the best opportunities have clustered around the coast. For example, there are many excellent opportunities to invest in property in areas close to the red sea. These include Hurghada and El Gouna, the latter famous for luxurious spas and high standards of accommodation.
Places like Sharm al Sheikh and Marsa Alam, both also beside the red sea, are especially popular with divers due to the very wide variety of marine wildlife and abundant coral reefs in these areas. If and when a recovery may take place, these regions will be well-placed to benefit.