Experts: New tax bill won’t affect real estate market

Lobna Reda, managing director of real estate development company IGI, said Tuesday that the real estate tax draft law currently being debated in parliament would not adversely affect the local property market.

"Sales haven’t dropped off since we began hearing about the controversial new bill," she said. "Besides, President Mubarak said the draft law hasn’t been finalized yet."

"The most important issue is whether or not the law will exempt houses used for personal residence from the new tax scheme," Reda added.

She went on to express approval for the notion of taxing luxury villas worth more than LE500,000. "Owners of such villas certainly have enough money and can easily pay the tax," she said, noting that her company planned to concentrate on building housing units for lower-income segments.

Real estate expert Ahmed Abdel Dayem agreed that the domestic market had little to fear from the new bill.

"The local real estate market has been affected by international issues, such as the Dubai debt crisis–not by projections of a new local tax," he said, going on to predict a boom in the local property market in the second half of 2010.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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