x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

IGI turns to middle-class households in Egypt

The Egyptian property developer is focusing on what it believes to be an under-served segment of their housing market.

IGI, an Egyptian property developer, is focusing on what it believes to be an underserved segment of Egypt's housing market - that of the country's middle class households with an annual income of between US$11,400 (Dh41,869) and $31,000.

It has begun construction on a vast, mixed use property development called Kenanah, which is located some 20km west of downtown Cairo in the new suburb of 6th of October. Each apartment costs between $43,485 and $86,970 and the first phase is expected to be completed by 2014.

The development's apartments, which range in size from between 80 square metres and 150 sq metres, match the findings of a 2008 US Agency for International Development survey (which it alerts people to approach with some caution due to the small size of its sample) showed that 97 per cent of Egyptian buyers were looking for apartments with a median size of 80 sq metres.

When finished, the project will house 16,000 units and cover some 202 hectares (about the same size as Cairo's Zamalek Island) and contain, according to Dr Lobna Reda, IGI's managing director, "schools, hospitals, commercial centres, and office buildings".

IGI already has a track record of building luxury developments including Gardenia Park, where villa prices now reach more than $700,000, but Dr Reda believes the high-end segment is now oversaturated.

"Everybody is now a lot more careful in developing more and more luxurious projects for the upper segment. We pioneered in the middle-income housing - we are the only company in that segment," Dr Reda says.

The new project was launched during the worst period of the housing market's recent drop and for a while IGI was in two minds about whether to go ahead.

It is difficult to gauge the project's success as IGI does not provide full details of the take up of its apartments, describing it only as "quite satisfactory".