africa real estate
Tag Archive

A report from The South African Property Owners Association’s 2016 Convention

Comments (0) Africa, Business, Featured

SAPOA Awards

The South African Property Owners Association celebrated its 50th anniversary at its annual convention this year, with a renewed focus on development.

The South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) is in its 50th year of existence, and its annual convention celebrated this landmark moment. However, while celebration of half a century’s existence was notable, so was a focus on the challenges that investors face in newly emerging markets. South Africa has changed almost immeasurably in the past 50 years, and trying to create an environment that encourages positive investments, both domestically and abroad, was key to most speakers.

Expanding African Investment

A focal point of the SOPOA convention was how to encourage foreign investors to embrace opportunities within Africa, as the body aims to create growth that will reward South Africa’s own developers and investors. The convention was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, where leading figures in property development, from journalists to construction groups, met to exchange ideas on furthering the expansion of property ventures in Africa.

While much of any planned expansion will be within South Africa, many experts are hoping to encourage their own developers, and those from outside Africa, to see exciting opportunities across the continent. Experts agreed that investors needed to recognize that African property investment was a long-term game, and to treat the markets with the same respect that they would in America or Europe.

Bronwyn Corbett, the head of the pan-African property group Mara Delta, explained that patience was key as she said, “Many South African investors don’t actually know what happens on the ground in Africa and may expect things to happen more quickly.”

Mara Delta holds a property portfolio worth $430 million that spans 6 African nations, from as far north as Morocco to as southerly as Mozambique. Companies like Mara Delta offer South African investors opportunities to invest in these outside markets, and in turn help bolster the growth of property value within the nations where their holdings lie. The evidence suggests that a rising number of investors are seeing prospects in Africa. Ian Anderson, the chief investment officer at Grindrod Asset Management, told SAPOA listeners that a mounting number of companies were asking about openings within African property.

Likewise, South Africa’s largest real estate investment trust, Growthpoint Properties, is already working alongside Investec to find new assets outside of South Africa, and yet still within the continent.

The challenges faced

While a positive approach was extolled, any objective discussion of the continent’s opportunities had to address the difficulties that could be faced. By openly discussing some of the problems and concerns around property investment within Africa, organizers hope to find solutions, and assuage investor concerns.

One of the main problems discussed was that many investors felt concern over the varied currencies of Africa. Africa uses more than 40 difference currencies, and the process of exchanging these can be time consuming. In addition, many African banks suffer from a slower speed of service that can give investors cold feet.

Corbett and others also discussed concerns over limited debt facilities within some African markets, but she insisted that companies like Mara Delta existed to relieve investors of the need to understand every market’s nuances.

Moreover, despite the issues that came up, the tone from Corbett was one of optimism, as she stated, “Each African country is different. Each is a challenge, and it wouldn’t be worth doing this if it wasn’t a challenge.”

The Convention and its awards

SAPOA celebrated its 50th anniversary with a grand convention, which offered attendees the opportunity to enjoy golf courses and a banquet, alongside the more serious nature of the talks and presentations. As with all of SAPOA’s conventions there was also an awards ceremony to recognize outstanding performers within property.

Some of the most notable awards included the Mall of the South for best retail development, Google Head Office Building for the Overall Green Award, Mitchell’s Plain Hospital for the Overall Transformation Award, and Frank’s Place for the best residential development.

The most prestigious award for the 2016 SAPOA Property Development Awards in Innovative Excellence went to Lion Match Company.

As many financial markets face uncertain times, the experts at SAPOA felt confident that property will provide stable investments for many people, and Africa can offer an exciting and prosperous opportunity for those willing to invest.

Read more

12 African Countries In Top 20 Affordable Luxury Real Estate Markets

Comments (0) Africa, Economy, Featured

luxury africa real estate

According to a September study by the German real estate portal Lamudi, twelve African countries are among the Top 20 emerging markets where luxury real estate is most affordable. Ethiopia topped the ranking in a total of 32 emerging markets in the recent Lamudi results. Luxury real estate in Ethiopia now costs an average of 396.58 € per square meter. To put this in perspective, luxury Paris property such as the Place Vendôme, Tuileries, and Palais Royal real estate commands 13,000 € per square meter, according to This Paris Life. To extend the frame of reference, Global Property Guide reports an average cost of over 6,000 € per square meter for “affordable luxury” land throughout France. Amazingly, therefore affordable luxury real estate in France is roughly 15 times more expensive than luxury real estate in Ethiopia!

Out of phase with the Lamudi study, however, Global Property Guide reports that all land in Ethiopia is owned by the government of the country, and can only be leased. With continuing border disputes, and weak enforcement of property rights, it is not clear how investors can securely exploit this appealing valuation of real estate for commercial purposes in Ethiopia. And recent drops in currency values of many African countries already discourage investment. However, the broader picture is more appealing in some of the other countries featured in the Lamudi report.

Côte d’Ivoire’s real estate market has grown rapidly since 2011

Côte d’Ivoire is now in full economic takeoff following a political and military crisis. Luxury real estate here is at an average price of 427.65 € per square meter, according to the Lamudi classification, which was made on the basis of average prices gathered from several thousand real estate sales advertisements. After ten years of sluggish economic growth, Côte d’Ivoire’s construction industry now claims double-digit growth in the most recent three years, according to the Oxford Business Group. Côte d’Ivoire’s real estate market has grown rapidly since 2011. Private initiatives thrive and the market is seeing significant development. A number of unique sources contribute to these especially attractive property prices. Substantial support by international donors in Côte d’Ivoire has artificially subsidized the markets and the country is now open to global construction firms, and boasts diversified investment sources.

Tanzania took third place in the Lamudi ranking with prices at 486.03 € per square meter. With an average price of 850.54 € per square meter, Kenya claimed sixth place on the list, following Mexico and Colombia. These figures are meticulously mined by Lamudi, a portal launched in 2013. The clearinghouse is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets. The Lamudi platform is available in 34 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, and includes in excess of 900,000 real estate listings throughout its global network.

Nigeria, with a per square meter price of 856.29 €, was followed closely by Kenya, according to Lamudi. Meanwhile Tunisia at 885.52 € appeared in the ninth slot, just ahead of Ghana (1,035.75 €), and Morocco (1,144.25 €). Rounding out the African countries featured, Uganda (1,597.22 €) occupied 15th place, ahead of Algeria (1,766.53 €), while Angola (3,965.52 €) closed the top 20 list.

Marrakech a top investment choice

Target cities to watch in the emerging luxury real estate market include Marrakech, Morocco. Marrakech holds strong growth prospects, favorable political stability, and an enticing environment for foreigners. Marrakech was recently named by Financial Times property experts as a top investment choice for 2014.

Lamudi’s focus on raw price may not be a representation of true property values. While luxury real estate property values in Morocco may be nearly four times those of Ethiopia, both are relatively cheap on a global scale, especially with regard to developed countries. For this reason, other criteria such as governmental and economic stability, environmental quality, and effectiveness of law enforcement may be more important determining factors than the price of land when comparing the featured countries for the purpose of luxury real estate investment. Furthermore, the unpredictable political climate and economic instability in these areas guarantees that these prices will fluctuate dramatically in relatively short periods of time.

Read more