TANZANIA: Demand for Houses Pushes Investors to the Real Estate
Submitted by IQ4News on Wed, 28/11/2012 - 9:09am
By Joab Apollo
Tanzanian Real Estate sector is experiencing a boom as both local and international investors stream into the country to cash in on the inadequate housing. The country is today hosting high number of tourists and business people from not only East Africa, but also from Asian, American and European countries.
This is coupled by the increasing demand for prime property by Tanzanians.
“Our country is facing acute shortage of houses as the population in urban areas increases. Most Tanzanians today prefer owning property than living in rental houses,” said Japheth Mraja, a Real Estate developer in Arusha.
Rural urban migration as people search for jobs and better opportunities continues to pile pressure on the housing sector. According to the United Nations, 66% of Tanzanians today live in urban areas, with 92% of this urban population settling in slums.
“People are looking for houses to live in and set up offices. This means that the next big thing in Tanzania is investment in property,” Mraja added
Even though named as the second most corrupt country in East Africa after Uganda by Transparency International, foreign investors still prefer doing business in Tanzania. This is due to the political harmony that exists. They are investing in various sectors of Tanzanian economy, but the Real Estate has been the target lately.
“When these people come here, they need accommodation and good places to live in. You cannot take them to the village. They need good houses, which are currently less in any Tanzanian town,” Mraja said
Tanzania is the headquarter of the East African Community (EAC), a regional grouping that aims to form a political federation among countries in East Africa. The intensity with which the EAC is moving has seen people from the region turn to Tanzania as an avenue for business. EAC activities, centered on politics and economic empowerment, are held in Tanzania.
Business people in East Africa say that Tanzania is conducive for business and the competition is not stiff.
“I love Tanzania because the people here are hospitable. I prefer doing business here than any country in East Africa,” said Jack Omoro, a Kenyan business man in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzanian commercial hub.
“Tanzania face acute shortage of houses. That’s why I am putting up a hotel in the country to target tourists coming into the country,” he added
However, behind the rush to invest in the housing industry is the impediment of land acquisition. Investors decry the daunting registration process which they claim is mired in graft. Tanzanian government officials are accused of extorting money from people buying land for development.
“If they sort out the issue of land acquisition, then we are headed to destiny. We cannot have people issuing fake title deeds to people,” Onesmus Rajabu, a Tanzanian business man told IQ4News.
“Everyone is issuing licenses to business people. We cannot tell the right people working for the government. It is discouraging,” he added
For Tanzanians living in urban areas, getting a house to live in has become a nightmare. They lament about the failure by the government to properly plan for the population.
“I got a job but I have to travel back to the upcountry, about 50 kilometers from the town because there are no houses even to rent. It is very expensive commuting from town to the village,” said Diana Wahonge, who hails from Mwanza.
“The good houses are taken. The remaining ones make you choke. I wish I had enough money to invest in houses,” said Moses Tiembo, also from Mwanza.
According to the World Bank, Tanzanian population hit 46.22million in 2011 from 44.84 million in 2010.
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