31 Oct 2017 - DRC (Lubumbashi)
I was due to fly from Kinshasa to Lubumbashi on Sunday, but my visa was not valid for the trip and I had to delay for two days whilst I got an extension. Although in the same country, the flight between the cities is over two hours, and they are in different time zones. The real estate markets are also completely different and don’t really track each other.
The market here in Lubumbashi was in the doldrums during 2016, but has picked up a bit with increases in cobalt and copper prices. At La Plage, furnished apartments cost $3,000-4,000 /month. It is difficult to find good offices, and more basic ones can be around $10-15 /sq m /month. For high quality small space in retail developments the rate can be $40 + /sq m /month.
Last week I was in Kinshasa and I will be back there later this week. The current uncertain political position is having an effect on the real estate market, which is more subdued. There are less expats in the city, and those that are here are generally single. So, the ex-pat residential market focus is generally on smaller units rather than family homes.
There are some good new buildings coming up, including the Ecobank HQ and the striking Embassy of Belgium (both on Boulevard du 30 Juin). CTC’s high-end apartment development and Le Premier Shopping Mall have filled the gap in the market that Rakeen’s Gare Centrale development would have held, if it hadn’t failed.
Congo Trade Center (CTC) in Kinshasa