23 Jan 2018 - DRC (Kinshasa)

James Whitmee

I am in Kinshasa staying at the Cercle Elais which is a central and older-style hotel in Gombe. It sits on a large and lush site and is also a sports centre, with an Olympic-size outdoor pool with diving boards. I have stayed here a couple of times now and it is my favourite spot in Kinshasa.

In the residential sector of the real estate market, prices rose dramatically in areas which are regarded as good and safe between 2013 to 2015. However, since 2015 prices have stabilised and rental growth stalled.

Over the last ten years there has been a steady amount of apartment and villa compound development although the construction time period for these projects tends to be protracted due to the poor availability of finance, materials and qualified labour.

Where projects have completed they have been received well. Villas at the TEXAF development are preleased before completion. Out of the ninety apartments at the CTC Tower three remain available to be sold.

Take-up in the standalone villa market is not as robust with some villas being on the market for two to three years without being leased. This is particularly the case for villas that are outside of the Gombe area. There is a higher demand for those that are inside Gombe.

Good areas are generally to the north of the city and, similar to the office market, located around Boulevard du 30 Juin. The best location is Gombe, followed by Kintambo, Binza, Lingwala, Kinshasa and Barumbu. Outside of these areas much of the city is composed of slums.

The market is not only security driven in terms of location but also in relation to building lay-out and features. Properties may have grills and shutters over the windows, reinforced doors, etc.

Currently demand for owned properties is mainly local, and up-market leased premises demand comes from the corporate, embassy and UN sectors. It is important to understand that the purchase market is currently restricted to “cash only” because of the exorbitant cost of borrowing.

There have been a number of relatively small high-end developments over the past several years which have been very successful. Prime examples include the villa compound development of Belle Vue on Avenue de l’OUA, Kin Oasis close to Parliament, and apartment buildings such as CTC Tower.

In terms of costs the very best apartments lease for around USD 3,500-4,000 /month, and if you de-capitalise sales prices it seems that a prime residential investment yield is around 8%.


Kinshasa 1

New Mango unit on Avennue de l'OUA

Kinshasa 2

New Kin Plaza retail mall attached to the Rotana

Tags: Democratic Republic of the Congo