Marseilia Group plans to reopen sales for the first phase of their Hayat Alex Park project in December, according to Yasser Ragab, chairperson of the company.
Ragab told Daily News Egypt in an interview that before the Central Bank of Egypt issued a decision to liberalise the exchange rate and float the pound, the company had sold about 40% of the project but stopped because of the decision in order to redesign the project and study the increases in prices of construction materials. They also needed time to develop the company’s performance, in light of the fierce competition by big brands, especially after the value of the pound decreased.
What are the company’s projects?
We have a group of coastal villages on the sea and on the main road in the northern coast.
The company’s first residential project was the Florence compound in Al Muntazah, Alexandria, built in 2011. The project includes a hotel, leisure services, and a commercial mall. Then we launched the Hayat Alex Park project with investments of EGP 3bn. The project is an integrated project that includes a Kids R Kids mall.
What is the percentage of sales in the Hayat Alex Park project?
We sold about 40% of the first phase of the project, but we stopped selling in that phase.
Why did the company stop sales for the first phase?
After the Central Bank of Egypt floated the pound and the depreciation of the currency, it was necessary to stop and redesign the project again and study the increases in the prices of construction inputs, in addition to developing the company’s performance in light of fierce competition by large brands, especially after the dollar’s price increased.
You stopped sales in the project. Has implementation stumbled?
The project is not stalled in sales and the project has witnessed great demand, especially that in Alexandria there is a large demand for residential, administrative, and commercial projects, unlike in Cairo. But the idea is to overcome the risk of high cost of implementation after the flotation.
In the current month, the project will be relaunched to compensate for the downtime and the whole project and commercial centre will be relaunched this month.
What is the value of investments in Hayat Life Park?
We have invested about EGP 600m in the project so far. The project is about 10,000 sqm with 1,029 units. 315 units were sold of the total 500 units in the first phase, with sales of about EGP 250m.
How many phases is the project and what is the status of implementation?
The project has three phases and we have developed the infrastructure of the first phase of the project.
What is the value of the new investments that will be pumped into the project in the coming period?
We will determine the value of the investments that will be injected into the project after the consultant has determined the project’s schedule.
Does the company intend to expand in other areas?
We are planning to work in Upper Egypt and the Delta. We are considering acquiring all lands offered by the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA). We have also seen more than one site, but we have not yet determined other areas that can be utilised. We are also studying partnership projects offered recently by the NUCA.
In 2018, the company will launch a new project in Cairo and it will be an integrated residential, commercial, and entertainment project developed with Designology Group with an initial plot of 24,000 sqm.
A tourism project in Alexandria will soon be announced, with hotels spread over 14,000 sqm. In addition to the company developing a project in the northern coast that will be launched in 2018.
What is the company’s total land bank?
We have about 110 acres in the northern coast, and 34,000 sqm in Alexandria, in addition to 40,000 sqm in Cairo. We are developing 30,000 sqm in Hayat Alex Park and 8 acres in New El Alamein, in addition to 75 acres there for a project which already exists.
How many sales branches does the company have?
We have 12 retail branches and we aim to export the real estate through participation in, and offering special units of the company’s projects at, foreign exhibitions for Egyptians abroad as well as foreigners.
How many units does the company intend to hand over?
In 2019, the company aims to hand over 800 units in Sidi Abdel Rahman project on an area of 75 acres.
What is the size of construction contracts in 2018?
During 2018 and 2019, the company will invest about EGP 1bn in construction contracts.
How do you see the real estate market after the flotation, raising the interest rate, and increasing fuel and raw materials prices?
Real estate is one of the sectors that will keep booming. Despite increases in interest rate, fuel and raw materials prices, real estate is still the only real option for stable investments. It’s a safe investment that is always guaranteed to increase in value.
What are your expectations of the market prices by the end of the year and beginning of 2018?
I expect more stability in the real estate market after this year’s increase in prices of units by all real estate companies with different rates, with a maximum of 30%. The industry is huge and affects many other related industries and about 40 industrial bodies.
Does the company plan to pump new investments in the coming period?
Of course, Marseilia, as a leading company in the field of real estate development, works constantly on the development of the market as well as its existence that adds to it. The company’s strategy targetted and still is targetting coastal areas but has in mind the execution of projects in-land and in the New Administrrative Capital.
Which areas have the most developments for second homes, Ain Sokhna or northern coast?
The northern coast will remain on top of places in Egypt with the biggest share of development ability/tendency because of the whole new road system that has made it just a few hours away from Cairo, hence, the best second home example ever. Ain Sokhna is a bit more limited with the road system of Al Zaafrana, where projects stop at its end.
What are the services and facilities needed to develop the northern coast to make it eligible for first homes?
The northern coast needs a more wholesome touristic development plan that will enable it to become a residential place for the whole year and not just in popular seasons. That will require a plan for transportation networks, airports, and harbours, and all the other dynamics for a better urban experience in the northern coast.
What is the feedback from the negotiations for the development of the housing project in Nasr City?
The company has taken serious steps on its protocol with the partner but terms are still confidential. Now, the company is updating its feasibility studies according to the changes in the values of investments and sales.
What are the company’s plans for its projects in Alexandria?
The company now is working on the feasibility study for the project in Bi’r Masoud in Miami, Alexandria in partnership with a company in the field of business. The studies of the development rate of the second and third phases of Alex Park seem to be very promising.
What are the details of the company’s projects that are being developed?
There are projects that are in their initial phases which are touristic and hotel-related in nature in the northern coast, in partnership with a prestigious governmental institution. There is also a project that will be in Nasr City. The company also welcomes the development of any project proposals offered which can be seen as serious, beneficial, and able to offer diversity.