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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Cairo Housing Market - Part 1

I've explained previously that our apartment is not located where most Americans are expected to be in Cairo.  Most expats live in Ma'adi.  The Wikipedia entry for Maadi includes this line:
... there is virtually no traffic noise. The abundant greenery bears little resemblance to most of the crowded areas seen in urban Cairo, and belies Maadi's desert location.
Well, that certainly doesn't describe our neighborhood.  Another place people think we might live is in one of the newer "satellite cities" like 6th October City.  This is a spot about ten or fifteen miles away from the pyramids.  Driving past it, the billboards beckon toward a very uncommon lifestyle.
EgyptSlums-2-2 EgyptSlums-3-1

Homes there go for perhaps ten times the price of a typical middle-class home and rival the desert homes in Phoenix or even Palm Springs.  Yes, they are large, upscale, and behind gates.  Some even have swimming pools.  We had the opportunity to visit one of these gated communities and the homes are indeed elegant.  Many are also, from what I could see, largely vacant.  This is a common thread you will see in the next couple of posts.

(Yes, that is real grass growing in the common area between the backyards.)

There are even regulations that require the windows to be of uniform variety and no, you can't paint yours purple.  Quite a contrast to real life in Egypt.

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