Egyptian housing market dynamics: Risk-analysis, negotiation and tolerance of regulatory non-compliance

Celestina Marie Jones, University of Pennsylvania


Egypt only partially succeeded in its attempt to shift from a socialist centrally-planned economy to a market economy in the 1970s. The country's growth is now constrained by a legislative framework which is welfare-oriented and which strictly regulates rather than supports production activities. The conflict inherent in the mix of policies evolving out of these circumstances, as reflected in expanding inefficiencies, inequities and price distortions, has paralyzed or incapacitated many sectors of the economy including the housing sector, the construction industry and financial institutions. The effects of contemporary political-economies on the housing sector range from submarket stagnation and collapse of policy initiative in the public market, to strong reactions against a malfunctioning supply-side structure by the semi-regulated private housing sector. The latter reaction includes dynamic circumventions of regulatory and market constraints in the system, resulting in the efficient production and delivery of housing and housing services. The following inquiries are made: how has the changing political-economy impacted on the housing market's configuration? and how, in the face of regulatory constraints and market barriers, has the semi-regulated submarket continued to produce standard housing that is highly adapted to demand? A production relations model guides the qualitative and quantitative analysis of in-depth household and supplier interviews. These data sources are supplemented with a number of household level databases collected between 1974 and 1991 in Cairo, Alexandria and Ismailia. Increased commercialization, a commodification of inputs and consolidation of settlements and individual housing units are documented. State tolerance of regulatory non-compliance, supplier risk-taking and negotiations driven by household demand are the mechanisms which govern the character of transactions in the private sector. The study concludes that, given the private sector's level of access in certain aspects of housing production, the state's primary role is to stabilize resource and capital markets and rid the housing system of its multi-access/pricing and regulatory organization, thereby creating a supportive rather than a constraining regulatory atmosphere for housing production.

Subject Area

Urban planning|Area planning & development|Economics

Recommended Citation

Jones, Celestina Marie, "Egyptian housing market dynamics: Risk-analysis, negotiation and tolerance of regulatory non-compliance" (1992). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9308598.