Chasing the “African Dream” in property markets

June 9, 2013

In a continent with booming economy, rising middle class and increasing higher per capita income, there is a clear indication spending will create more wealth and demand for quality housing. Sharp rise in property prices has turned African cities like Nairobi to be the home of some of the world’s most expensive properties over the last few years.That trend seems to have created a new breed of multi-millionaires across the continent. Over the past few years, foreigners have invested heavily in the property market in South, West and East Africa. Some of the biggest projects that have attracted interests include Appolonia, King City in Ghana  and is expected to accommodate more than 160,000 residents on land developed for housing properties, retail and commercial centers, as well as schools, healthcare and other social amenities.

The there is La Cite du Fleuve in Democratic Republic of Congo, a luxurious housing project planned for two islands on the Congo River in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo and one of Africa’s fastest growing cities. Few months ago, the Hope City, a $10 billion high tech hub to be built outside Accra housing 25,000 residents and creating jobs for 50,000 people was announced.Eko Atlantic Nigeria development that will be located on Victoria Island in Lagos and is expected to provide upscale accommodation for 250,000 people and employment opportunities for a further 150,000. Tatu City, a project on leafy suburbs of Kiambu in Kenya spans 1,035 hectares of located 15 kilometers from Nairobi, the country capital. Construction work is underway and is expected to be completed in nine years from now housing 77,000 residents. According to a friend working for an International investment bank, the property prices in more than half African countries have risen by 130% over the past five years and are poised for further gains.

The unprecedented property boom is a combination of an all-time low mortgage rate, growing GDP per capita and a rapidly growing middle class. A robust economy growing at an average 5.5% per annum has also created wealth across diverse sectors from banking to manufacturing, investments and consumer products in Africa. Africans, armed with greater spending power, have gone on a spending spree, snapping up just about anything they can lay their hands on. This is likely to continue as the continent’s middle class is expected to grow by 670 million consumers by 2033.Therefore, any interested person that sells goods and or provides high end services to the middle class and has good personal reputation or brand recognition will do extremely well. That is the essence of capitalism and the free market that will come in handy for those chasing the African Dream. Money will flow to where the greatest opportunities lie, and that is today’s Africa for you.

Contador Harrison