Africa's real estate potential

2014-07-08 13:43

Quick facts on Africa

  • Over 40% of Africa’s population is under the age 0f 19.
  • Over 50% of Africa’s population lives in the rural areas.
  • Over 70% is employed in the agriculture sector.
  • Africa’s population is about 1.2 billion.
  • 39 out of 54 African countries have undergone or are currently undergoing debt review from the World Bank/IMF
  • Africa’s population is projected to double by the year 2050.

Old and new money

One of Africa’s most thriving metropolis which houses one of the world’s best stock exchanges, Johannesburg grew over the course of 100 years first due to mining and now as a result of the growing services industry. Johannesburg, the economic gateway to the continent holds a share of GDP of just under $68 billion with a growth rate averaging 3% per annum. Repo rate in South Africa stands at 5.5% On the other hand, Luanda, Angola, probably one of the most expensive cities to visit or live in, is growing at a rate just over 6% with a GDP of $33 billion. Luanda's share of GDP is set to triple by the year 2025 while population grows by 70%. Repo rate in Angola is 9.5%. Angola's growth figures are similar to those of a number of cities across the African continent such as Khartoum (Sudan), Kano (Nigeria), Lagos (Nigeria), Dar es-Salaam (Tanzania) and Nairobi (Kenya). However, despite the variance in the level of real growth in cities from Cape to Cairo, one thing remains apparent in the dynamics of the African real estate industry. There is potential across the board. High risk, higher returns

The population is rapidly growing, along with it the economy. Though economic growth may not necessarily translate to an immediate change in the standard of living, the demand for real infrastructure remains unmet due to underdeveloped capital markets. Pressure on governments to meet housing demand is unlikely to yield any significant results on a continent on which budget deficits are a common occurrence, leaving the onus upon private investors to meet the demand for real estate products.

According to Knight Frank’s Africa Report 2013 this strong growth is expected to continue and is creating wealthier populations, particularly in the largest and most rapidly growing urban centres. Africa’s mega cities such as Lagos, Nairobi, Accra, Lusaka and Dar es Salaam are increasingly becoming the drivers of its economic growth and, as a result, are attracting growing interest from occupiers, developers and investors.

"Africa’s impressive economic progress is generating a growing need for the construction of good quality property in major cities across the continent. The rising wealth of Africa’s middle class is leading to demand for increasingly sophisticated retail formats and better quality residential property," said Matthew Colbourne, associate in commercial research at Knight Frank.

“I think the demand is approaching about 17 million. The houses that Lagos state have built so far are about 3,000 up to 4,000 so in terms of making any impact, you’ll agree with me that it is more or less a drop in the ocean.” Dipo Davies, CEO Real House Communications. While structuring finance for real estate in most African may prove to be a challenge for both first time buyers and investors looking to grow their portfolio, the prospects of high returns are brighter than ever as demand for housing and disposable income continue to increase. News24 Voices Terms & Conditions.  

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