By 2020, Africa is likely to be the fastest urbanizing continent in the world. It is currently the most rural — 40% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population live in cities. Even the sprawling heartlands of Lagos, Kinshasa and Cairo are in their relative infancy and destined for a growth spurt. One idea gaining traction is newly developed satellite “smart cities:” ambitious multi-billion dollar, hyper-livable tech cities populated with bustling, beautified boulevards, private condos and luxury cars.
Real Estate: Latest News
Staff, 2:46 pm
SA property companies should use tough economic times to strengthen themselves for the future, says research and advisory group, Grant Thornton.Real estate firms are no strangers to cyclical disruption, especially the likes of which the local market is experiencing at the moment; but to prosper in the future, the industry must enhance its capabilities to manage new types of disruptions. Lee-Anne Bac, Grant Thornton, believes SA property firms cannot rest on their laurels in difficult conditions.
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:27 am AFKI Original
Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Facebook’s Africa headquarters was recently custom-built and launched, with the social media mega-company now building a larger presence on the ground in Africa. From a mothers’ room to numerous meeting rooms and a stunning balcony that overlooks the city, a glimpse of Facebook’s Africa offices makes one wish that their company would offer the same awesome facilities. We take a look at 12 things you didn’t know about Facebook’s Africa headquarters.
Kurt Davis Jr., 12:06 pm AFKI Original
The African continent will continue to experience major urban development in the coming decades. Such urban development requires improved mass transport and freight-moving systems to support the population growth. Some urban planners even argue that mass transport networks are central to cities’ ability to control the expansion and better manage property development, while reducing travel times and boosting land values.
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:00 am AFKI Original
Short-term volatility and uncertainty in the African growth story create opportunities for hedge funds. Hedge funds generally operate more flexibly than private equity, and they have the creativity to generate bond-like returns that outpace inflation. Critics say hedge funds have limited liquidity in an opaque world. The riskiest play — but with big returns — is in agriculture and land. Where land is for sale in Africa, investors are making a play for a limited resource, especially when it’s arable, ripe for production or ideal for commercial and residential construction.
Global Risk Insights, 4:15 pm
Investors continue buying Nigerian bonds despite economic recession for the first time in 25 years, and urgent calls for reform. In March, high-profile investors competed on the London Stock Exchange for Nigerian debt, a 15-year $1B eurobond issued while President Buhari was being treated in London for an undisclosed illness. S&P affirmed a stable economic outlook. If Buhari leaves office abruptly, the administration’s gains in the fight against Boko Haram could be reversed, an analyst said. The president’s mystery illness is generating uncertainty.
Dana Sanchez, 10:10 pm
Luanda is still the world’s second most expensive city for expats after Hong Kong, but rent for office space fell almost 50 percent in the past two years. Demand has virtually ground to a halt in the region’s top oil-producing country. Rent has has also fallen for office space and luxury homes in Nairobi, where there’s an oversupply. Kenya became a hotspot for oil and gas exploration in 2012. With the price of crude down more than 50 percent since mid-2014, Nigeria, the region’s second-largest oil producer, is in recession. One bright spot: industrial space rent is rising in Kenya.
Kurt Davis Jr., 2:33 pm AFKI Original
Investors are strategically betting on the upside in Francophone Africa due to strong economic growth rates and a stable CFA franc. Lusophone Africa also presents opportunity. Low assets prices have replaced the exorbitant numbers of the oil-and-gas heyday, particularly in Angola and Mozambique. Debt restructuring can restore some confidence in Mozambique’s economic system. Private investors are finding a government more willing to deal on better terms, and companies that are pricing assets at fairly digestible prices.
Kurt Davis Jr., 11:08 am AFKI Original
The economic downturn did little to stifle demand for African real estate. Some of the biggest returns and opportunities exist in rental properties, from beachfront getaways to hidden villas. Affordable housing is a major challenge for governments. Private investment is seen as a solution. Developers, private investors, and ordinary people can play a role in addressing the construction gap in the real estate sector and make a good return while doing so.
Dana Sanchez, 1:01 am
Companies expanding in Africa are helping drive the need for more warehouse space. There is a dire shortage of warehouse facilities, says global real estate consultancy Knight Frank. Scarcity of quality warehouses in Nairobi presents opportunities for investors and developers, and the largest development bank in the world is taking notice. U.S.-based IFC and the U.K.’s CDC finance group are investing up to $35 million in Nairobi warehouse development. Logistics is an often overlooked part of economic development, the CDC said.
Mongabay, 9:25 am
There’s a mistaken belief that Africa is a continent of empty, freely available land open for development. Companies investing in land in Africa feel they can cut a deal with the government, raze the land, and create vast plantations. “No land is unclaimed,” a stakeholder said. “Uprooting communities without their consent from their lands and traditional livelihoods creates conflicts and social unrest.” Most disputes involving private investments in Africa – 63 percent – relate to local people being displaced off their land. These disputes affect sugarcane and palm oil production, mining for gold, diamonds and coal, and green energy to harvest wind and solar power.
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