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Forums reveal the effect of currencies on property market in Egypt

However, when real estate agents have two prices – one in the local currency and one in pounds or euros or dollars – buying can become even more complicated and it is an issue highlighted in the property forums this week.

For example in Egypt at the moment you can find prices in GB pounds, US dollars and Egyptian pounds, according to the forum.

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It is not the credit crunch that is having an effect on property sales but the strong USD to which the EGP is tied. The GBP has lost nearly 25% against the USD/EGP since the autumn. Then with Russians being big buyers in Egypt the numbers of investors are falling as the rouble is at a 13 year low against the USD.

This has led to a two-tier pricing system coming into effect in Hurghada, according to the thread. Some developers that target predominantly the UK market are keeping their prices in GBP. Others that target the Russian market are priced in USD or EGP which now makes them very expensive versus the developments priced in GBP.

As a result some developments at the higher end of the market are really suffering. But the bargain apartments are still selling well, according to poster propertastic. Anything around £15,000 just disappears fast.

Although some investors are concerned that if tourism numbers are down this will affect rental yields. But this, of course, only applies to those who are currently renting to the holiday market rather than those buying off-plan for completion next year when the global credit crunch may have eased off.

Reports from a number of property industry organisations including Rightmove, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Halifax, that property prices in the UK have risen slightly in the last few weeks if the focus of much comment on the forums.

Rightmove reported the figures but also pointed out that is was a false dawn and perhaps due to estate agents being too bullish and talking up prices. However, on the forum there is much optimism. Posters report that there seems to be more interest, more potential buyers viewing properties and those who have been sitting tight waiting for property prices to bottom are now emerging.

There are also those who think it is a good time to take advantage of low interest rates for mortgages and it certainly isn't worth keeping savings in the bank at present. Although the more pessimistic warn of a bounce with prices set to plummet again in the coming months especially as more people lose their jobs.

In the US the big topic at the moment is Barack Obama's bail out plan for the property sector which has just been announced. (see our news section) There is a lot of criticism of the plan to use the bail out money to reduce mortgages of those facing foreclosure down to 31 to 38% of income because many of the toxic loans were based on false incomes.

There is also a creeping sense of unfairness voiced on the forum that the bail out won't help those who are already in the foreclosure system and also those who aren't but still might be struggling every month to keep up their payments but have not defaulted so don't come onto the radar.

It is perhaps summed up by poster RichardW who says that the government is bailing out the irresponsible and the reckless. 'If you were stupid enough to be a responsible borrower and buy a home you could afford then you are out of luck,' he writes.

It can be interesting to follow some of the longer threads on the property forums and one that is still as topical now as when it was started concerns buy to let holiday homes in England. Started by poster Vanessa Warwick last year on the forum, it follows the fortunes of those who have bought holiday lets. The strategy used is enlightening and as the most recent posts show it could be a winner in 2009 as more Brits choose to holiday at home this year because of the credit crunch.