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Is there any data available on housing affordability in Africa?

Housing affordability is based on three things: household income, the price of the house, and the terms of the finance. Across Africa, a combination of low urban household incomes, high mortgage interest rates and a lack of access to finance, results in very low housing affordability.

In 2022, the Centre for Affordable Housing in Africa (CAHF) looked at the typical salary of an urban police officer and an urban teacher and calculated the price of a house that they might afford with a mortgage at the current rates and terms in their country. These entry-level occupations were chosen because they are important to the economy and society, make up a large portion of the formal workforce in most African countries, and are fairly secure while having relatively low skills entry points. The two occupations are also inclusive of both genders.

The image is striking – the price of the cheapest newly built house is only affordable to a teacher in eight of the countries (Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Lesotho, Libya, Mozambique, Namibia and Senegal). For a police officer, the cheapest newly built house is likely unaffordable in all but five countries (Botswana, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Libya and Lesotho).

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