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5 Interesting Facts About the Real Estate Market in Africa

The Dark Continent retains an aura of intrigue even though the last great explorers are long gone. When you think of Africa, images of elephants, lions, and other wild creatures spring immediately to mind.

Truth is, the continent is developing fast and you are unlikely to find wild animals roaming the streets any more. African countries have some of the fastest growing economies during 2018, with Ethiopia featuring in the top 5 worldwide.

Along with the economic expansion, African countries have high population growth. There is a huge demand for housing and retail space, making Africa one of the hottest places for property investment.

These are some of the more unexpected and interesting facts about real estate in Africa.

1. Most Developers in Africa Aren’t African

Foreign investment is having a profound impact on real estate in Africa, with most investors hailing from the Middle East, Asia, and Russia. Favorable exchange rates and a booming tourist industry are part of the appeal.

Major hotel groups continue to expand their African portfolios but tourism isn’t the only attraction. There are opportunities for development across Africa.

Foreign investors get involved in a wide range of sectors, read more about these here.

2. Cheap Housing is the Norm

Very few Africans can afford high-end properties. Foreigners looking for a second home or vacation property snap up most of these luxury real estate gems.

If you are looking at a long-term investment, affordable housing is risky business. It is easier and more profitable to sell one luxury villa than several low-cost houses.

For starters, you need to partner with a local bank who will grant mortgages to these low-income households. Even with prices as low as $10-20,000 for a simple urban unit, owning their own home is a pipe-dream for most Africans.

Yet, there is a desperate need for this kind of dwelling throughout Africa. For developers interested in uplifting the lives of others, this could be a rewarding way to go.

3. Nigeria is On the Rise

The Nigerian real estate market is booming. Emerging from the most devastating recession in 25 years, Nigeria is attracting global interest in its fast-growing technology and agriculture sectors.

Facebook and Google have both revealed plans to base their African headquarters in Lagos. Real Estate Investors can do worse than to strike early in this burgeoning economy.

4. South African Real Estate is Right Up There

Despite South Africa’s ongoing corruption problems, the country remains a favorable investment hub. The rand remains weak against most world currencies and the cost of living in South Africa is low.

There are low-cost housing opportunities all over, and the tourism sector is thriving. Global investors continue to pump money into the areas of accommodation and recreation.

5. Things Can Get Complicated

Africa is a complex continent, filled with a vast array of cultures and nationalities. The property laws are as diverse as the population.

You need a 50% deposit in most African countries when you buy land. In some countries, like Mozambique, nobody except the government can own land.

Do your research before you consider investing in African real estate, it can be a complicated and drawn out process.

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