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Thursday, 11 November 2021

Cabinet looking to encourage more property registrations

Are we about to see a surge in home registration? More homeowners could start notarizing their ownership contracts after legislative amendments to considerably shorten the process earned cabinet approval in its weekly meeting yesterday. The changes, which amend stipulations in the Real Estate Registry Act and the Income Tax Act, are expected to significantly trim the painstaking registration process by waiving the need to obtain pre-approval at the real estate registry office prior to obtaining the final seal and putting a time ceiling on the entire process. The pre-approval stage, as things stand, requires on-ground inspections by notaries, a documentation of provenance, and other steps that usually take months.

Registration taxes are also now easier to digest, as payment will no longer be a prerequisite of getting hold of the notarized “blue contract.” Instead, the seller will remit the taxes at a later date. As things stand, the changes don't provide a timeline or mechanism for the tax collection. The changes also set the tax rate at 2.5% in contracts signed before recently-passed amendments and a flat rate of EGP 1.5-4k in older contracts. The need to pay taxes before registering had previously discouraged property owners from notarizing their deeds.

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