Nairobi tops in Africa property market transparency survey

Kenya is among sub-Saharan African countries leading in transparency of the real estate market, South African-based real estate firms said in a joint statement.

According to JLL & LaSalle’s Global Real Estate Transparency Index, sub-Saharan Africa is making improvements to meet the growing expectations of business, investors and communities with Kenya and Nigeria being the key focal points in the endeavour in east and west Africa, respectively.

The firms noted Kenya, Ghana and Rwanda have set up working groups or already trialled blockchain technology for recording land ownership and listings websites are proliferating across sub-Saharan Africa — from multinational sites such as Jumia to country-specific platforms like PropertyPro in Nigeria and Property24 in Kenya.

“It is positive to note progress on Sub-Saharan Africa’s transformative journey is being led by the West and East African hubs of Nigeria and Kenya,” said the firms in the statement released from their office in Johannesburg, South Africa.

They said that out of the 15 SSA markets included in the index, 10 have seen some level of progress in real estate transparency levels, pushed by international service providers deepening their involvement in markets across the region.

“Governments worldwide have been gradually forging greater transparency in real estate markets, and while improvement is selective in Africa, advances have certainly been made in the accessibility and quality of real estate data, with the potential to deliver significant change,” the firm said.

It added that transparency is advancing at a more muted pace than in previous years and progress is slow where businesses demand much higher standards.

“Transparency is increasingly important for commercial real estate, where investors are allocating ever more capital,” says Jeremy Kelly, director, Global Research, JLL. “The availability and quality of information – from prices to ownership – is crucial when trying to make investment decisions, especially in new markets.”