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Sub-Saharan Africa


​​Global Real Estate Transparency Index 2016

P​rogress, but patchy

Extending GRETI’s footprint across Sub-Saharan Africa

With growing interest in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) from corporates and international real estate investors, GRETI 2016 has further extended its footprint across the region to provide coverage of 15 countries, with Rwanda, Tanzania and Ivory Coast joining the 12 countries surveyed in GRETI 2014 (which itself was up from eight SSA countries in GRETI 2012).

Sub-Saharan Africa Real Estate Transparency Index, 2016


Source: JLL, LaSalle Investment Management​​​​

Overall progress in Sub-Saharan Africa, but improvement is patchy…

GRETI 2016 reveals that Sub-Saharan Africa has continued to make advances in real estate transparency over the last two years, although progress has been more mixed than in 2014, when SSA registered the largest improvement among the global regions.

Out of the 12 markets from the region included in the 2014 Index, six (Botswana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Angola and Ghana) have recorded reasonable progress in transparency. Advances in the ‘Market Fundamentals’, ‘Performance Measurement’ and ‘Governance of Listed Vehicles’ sub-indices have supported the overall regional improvement, as greater involvement by international real estate consultancies and local data providers elevates the level of access to information about real estate markets.

...with limited progress in regulatory and legal reforms and enforcement

Despite these advances, the region has crucially also seen a slight deterioration in the sub-indices scores for the ‘Regulatory and Legal Environment’ and ‘Transaction Process’ sub-indices, as development in improving the legislative and operating environment appears to have slowed in several markets, with two countries – South Africa and Mozambique – registering a noteworthy decline in overall score.

While tangible improvements in transparency are being made, Sub-Saharan Africa is still some distance from competing equally with its regional counterparts and sizeable efforts will be needed to close the gap with other global regions.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s transparent and semi-transparent markets

South Africa remains Sub-Saharan Africa’s most transparent market, supported by an active listed sector. It is the only country from the continent to feature in the ‘Transparent’ category, although it has struggled to maintain its global ranking in the last couple of years.

Botswana and Zambia round out the three most transparent markets in the region, with Zambia moving slightly ahead of Mauritius to take third place this year. Meanwhile, Kenya has maintained its position as the only other SSA market in the ‘Semi-Transparent’ category.

Nearly half the Sub-Saharan markets covered by GRETI are ‘Opaque’

The SSA region continues to have its largest number of markets (8 out of 15) positioned in the ‘Opaque’ category, with three markets in the bottom 10 globally – Mozambique, new entrant Ivory Coast and Senegal. Renewed political instability and resulting policy uncertainty has negatively affected Mozambique’s market transparency and resulted in a decline in its Index score.

New entrants Tanzania and Ivory Coast join GRETI in the ‘Opaque’ tier, reflecting the early stage of formal real estate market development in these rapidly-growing economies. ​

Botswana, Zambia and Ethiopia among top improvers

While progress across the region has been variable and generally slower than in 2014, three of the region’s markets are among the global top 10 improvers. Botswana is the most improved market in the region and among the top five improvers globally, with advances in the ‘Market Fundamentals’, ‘Governance of Listed Vehicles’ and ‘Regulatory and Legal’ sub-indices. Meanwhile, Zambia has entered the ‘Semi-Transparent’ category for the first time, while Ethiopia is also among the top 10 global improvers but from a very low base, with the country remaining firmly in the ‘Opaque’ category.​​

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