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Stocktaking of the Housing Sector in Sub-Saharan Africa : Challenges and Opportunities

FINANCIAL RISK HOUSING PROVISION LAND DEVELOPMENT EMPLOYMENT FINANCIAL SERVICES CAPITAL MARKETS COUNTRY COMPARISONS STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT ACCOUNTING DEPOSITS URBANIZATION URBAN GROWTH RETIREMENT PRINCIPAL LOAN FINANCE AUTONOMY ILLEGAL SETTLEMENTS INTEREST LAWS GUARANTEES INDUSTRY SAVINGS ACCOUNTS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS STRATEGIES BANKING SERVICES LOCAL GOVERNMENT WATER SUPPLY SERVICES SEWAGE PUBLIC SERVICES HOUSING RURAL‐URBAN MIGRATION MORTGAGE LENDING PROJECTS PROBABILITY OF DEFAULT CAPITAL MARKETS LAND VALUE REGULATORY SYSTEMS SAVING LAND USE RENT CONTROL LAND PRICES MUNICIPALITIES AUDITS PRESENT VALUE PUBLIC HOUSING PUBLIC HOUSING PRESENT VALUE SAVINGS TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PRIVATE SECTOR HOUSING CREDIT UNIONS TRANSPORT LENDING INSTITUTIONS LOCAL GOVERNMENTS METROPOLITAN AREAS PRODUCTIVITY INTEREST RATES MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS MIGRATION TRANSFERS MORTGAGE LENDING TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS CRITERIA DEBT COMMERCIAL BANKS MARKETS INTEREST RATES LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEFICITS LEGISLATION RENTAL HOUSING PUBLIC SERVICES LABOR LOANS ENTERPRISES LAND DEVELOPMENT LAND VALUE SUBSIDIES LEGAL FRAMEWORK FINANCE GRANTS HOUSING PROVISION INFRASTRUCTURE TAXES BANKING SECTOR LAND USE BANKS WATER SUPPLY DEVOLUTION EQUITY MORTGAGE LOANS SAVINGS RATES USER CHARGES LAND SPECULATION ACCOUNTABILITY CAPITAL WAGES OPERATING COSTS PROPERTY TAXES URBAN GROWTH VALUE PENSIONS BANK REGULATORY SYSTEMS CREDIT COLLATERALIZATION RISK‐MANAGEMENT CAPITAL FLOWS PROPERTY COUNTRY COMPARISONS HOUSING PRICES AFFILIATES TRANSACTION COSTS LAND SPECULATION RENTAL HOUSING URBAN DEVELOPMENT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS HOMELESSNESS SUBSIDIARY GOVERNANCE RENT CONTROL INSURANCE TAXATION MICROFINANCE HOUSING DEMAND LAND DOWN PAYMENTS SAVINGS ASSOCIATIONS USER CHARGES RISK COMMERCIAL BANKS AFFILIATE URBAN HOUSING MORTGAGE LOANS URBAN ECONOMY BANKING DECENTRALIZATION REVENUE PERSONAL SAVINGS SAVINGS ACCOUNTS RISK MANAGEMENT LENDING COMMUNITY BANKS SAVINGS SCHEMES FINANCIAL RISK HOUSING DEMAND GOVERNMENTS URBAN HOUSING HEALTH SERVICES LAND‐USE DOWN PAYMENTS COST OF CAPITAL LAND SUPPLY ECONOMIES LENDING INSTITUTIONS URBAN ECONOMY
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa
2015-12-15T20:39:59Z | 2015-12-15T20:39:59Z | 2015

Africa is rapidly urbanizing and will lead the world’s urban growth in the coming decades. Currently, Africa is the least‐urbanized continent, accommodating 11.3 percent of the world’s urban population, and the Sub‐Saharan region is the continent’s least‐urbanized area. However, the region’s cities are expanding rapidly, by 2050; Africa’s urban population is projected to reach 1.2 billion, with an urbanization rate of 58 percent (UN‐HABITAT 2014). With this rate of growth, Africa will overtake Asia as the world’s most rapidly urbanizing region by 2025 (UN 2014). Although the nature and pace of urbanization varies among countries, with over a quarter of the world’s fastest growing cities, Africa is undergoing a massive urban transition. Globally, cities are major drivers of economic growth, and the quality and location of housing has long-term consequences for inclusive growth. However, in Sub-Saharan Africa, urbanization is not accompanied by the level of per-capita economic growth or housing investment that is observed elsewhere in global trends. Incomes in Sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA) have not kept pace with urbanization, which, in many African countries, has not necessarily been accompanied by industrial growth and the structural transformation as has occurred in other regions. Housing stocks, along with investment and employment in related construction and finance industries, constitute a major component of national economic wealth. The key challenge for African cities, however, has been the comparatively low growth in per‐capita income, which limits the resources that households have to consume or invest in housing. At the same time across the region, the formal channels through which quality housing is produced and financed face major constraints that limit access to a large share of urban households. Hence, the formal housing sector is only a small part of the economy because the construction and finance services have very little effective demand, evidenced by the lack of formal investment in housing across the region. Recent studies have found that in Africa, formal housing investment (in national current accounts data) lags behind urbanization by nine years (Dasgupta et al. 2014). Furthermore, the capital investment in infrastructure needed to handle rapid urbanization typically happens (if at all) after housing has already been built, often in informal settlements.

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