In a bid to encourage local and foreign investments, the price of land in Egypt’s new urban centers has been lowered, confirmed the Ministry of Housing and New Urban Communities, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat.
The per square meter price of land in the new cities now ranges from 50 Egyptian pounds ($11.72) to EP 200 ($46.9) for industrial purposes and from EP 250 ($58.6) to EP 450 ($105.5) for residential real estate. In comparison, the per square meter price of land in some suburbs of Cairo could amount to EP 20,000 ($4,690)
Egypt’s fast growing population, estimated at nearly 70 million, faces an acute problem of housing shortage. The crisis is severed by massive migration from rural areas to the main urban centers, resulting in very poor standards of living.
To counter these difficulties, the Egyptian government has launched a new urban development strategy. As part of this five-year scheme, new cities are established in desert areas to act as growth poles away from the crowded Nile valley and help redistribute the population more evenly throughout this vast country.
To encourage investors to put their money in such pioneering initiatives, the government offers various incentives, such as a 10-year tax exemption, and provides the necessary urban infrastructure.
The Minister of Housing and Construction, Muhammad Ibrahim Sulaiman, recently revealed that two billion EP worth of land was recently sold in the new cities, adding that this income will be directed to finance the Mubarak Youth Housing Project. The project, which aims to assure adequate housing for young couples, consists of 73,000 state-subsidized apartments, ranging in price from EP 18,000 to EP 35,000 — approximately 30 percent lower than the cost of constructing such apartments.
So far, 17 new cities have been established over a total area of half a million Feddan (2.1 million square kilometers), which has been allocated by the government in hope that it will soon attract up to six million inhabitants.
A longer-tern plan, drafted by the Ministry of Housing and New Urban Communities in cooperation with the Public Authority for Urban Planning, calls for the development and construction of 44 new urban communities by the year 2017. Divided into three phases, these projects are designed to absorb 12 million inhabitants. — (Mena Report)
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