06 Oct 2015 - Pakistan (Lahore)

James Whitmee

I have moved on from Karachi and am now in Lahore. It is much greener and seemingly well-organised in this part of Pakistan, and there is a bit of tourism, including tourists from India. This is because Punjab is where Sikhism was founded.

I am staying in a hotel on Mall Road, named after the Mall in London. There are quite a few references to London locations here. I am close to an intersection called Charing Cross.

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01 Oct 2015 - Pakistan (Karachi)

James Whitmee

I am in Karachi in Pakistan. This is a mega-city being the second largest city in the world by population with over 20 million people.

Yesterday I looked at the office market and some of the main “corporate” buildings such as Ocean Tower, The Forum, Emerald Tower and Dolmen Harbour Front. Offices are delivered to a “shell” here and prime Grade A averages PKR 150 /sq ft /month.

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07 Sep 2015 - Slovakia (Bratislava)

Jasen Leith

 

I am in Bratislava and the aptly named ‘’The Little Big City’’ lives up to its reputation with a bustling old town city centre for tourists, its bars, restaurants, hotels and retailers alike. But as with all cities there is a change and that, in the case of Bratislava, has been the migration of the city centre eastwards and it has well and truly started.

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18 Sep 2015 - Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

James Whitmee

I am in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia where the New Year celebrations have recently taken place, and on their calendar system it is 2008. I travelled several hundred kilometres today, reviewing the industrial zones around Addis, including going out on the Expressway to the Dry Port at Modjo.

As I drove out to Modjo I could see trains on the new Addis-Djibouti rail line. I believe that it is not yet formally open, but these are tests which are taking place. It is the key component of Ethiopia's ambitious infrastructure improvement programme and is a major positive for the manufacturing and import-export markets. However, there are concerns that as operating effectively a monopoly and with freight costs not yet announced, that the advantage could be watered down.

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19 Jun 2015 - Ethiopia (Addis Ababa)

James Whitmee

I am in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. The temperature is more like the UK, so it is a relief after the heat of Djibouti.

There continues to be a lot of property development here, particularly hotels which is a sector that attracts duty concessions, making construction costs around 35-40% lower.

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29 May 2015 - Senegal (Dakar)

James Whitmee

This week I have been in Dakar looking at the industrial market.

I initially concentrated on the Port area and particularly around Route de Rufisque. There is currently very low availability and rents are generally up to around CFA 4,000 although some landlords are quoting much more.

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13 May 2015 - Knight Frank: Africa Report 2015

We are again very pleased to assist Knight Frank on their Africa Report 2015 in countries in which they have no local base and it was very good of them to have credited us. (EMC-RE are the sole credited contributor on this report.)

To see the report go tohttp://www.knightfrank.co.uk/research/africa-report-2015-2802.aspx

Countries covered are: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, DRC, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

 

16 Jul 2015 - Nigeria (Lagos)

James Whitmee

I am in Lagos for this week, focusing particularly on the apartment and townhouse market around Ikoyi and Banana Island.

This market is based almost entirely on ex-pat demand, and demand is relatively low. Many of the big corporates here have made their own accommodation arrangements and are effectively not in the market anymore. Examples include:
  • Total pre-leasing Eko Towers II next to their current HQ on VI
  • BAT's new office/apartment building on Kingsway
  • ExxonMobil's leasing of the Black Diamond Hotel
  • Chevron's mixed use campus at Lekki

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11 Jun 2015 - Djibouti (Djibouti)

James Whitmee

I am in Djibouti looking at the real estate market.

The city is small and very easy to get around. I think the traffic is the lightest I have ever come across in an African capital. There is no street trading and you don't see many people on the streets at all, except in the old city centre (this is probably in part due to the heat).

As a safe country surrounded by unstable ones (Somalia, Eritrea, and facing Yemen across the sea) it is a very strategic location. It has the potential to become a bit like a mini Panama and also to be an interesting banking location for money that could otherwise become trapped in those unstable adjoining countries. Djibouti's powerful stable neighbour, Ethiopia, has very strict banking practices and no free transfer of capital, which also makes Djibouti attractive.

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29 May 2015 - New Zealand (Auckland)

Ian Lawrence

Here in Auckland, New Zealand demand is out of kilter with the supply in the residential property market which is fueling house price inflation.

The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand recently cautioned about the dangers of a housing bubble, stating that speculators, making huge tax-free profits are driving the boom in Auckland. He considers that the answer to this is to increase capital gains tax.

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26 Jun 2015 - China (Shanghai)

Ian Lawrence

I’m in Shanghai China looking at the office market which is perhaps the most dynamic in the world.

To illustrate the dynamics of the market the Shanghai Centre (pictured) from 1990 to 1996 was the tallest building in Shanghai and possible the tallest in China. Today, Shanghai Center ranks the 120th tallest building in the Shanghai. Up until 1990 Shanghai had never gone over 24 meters or 6 stories.

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05 Jun 2015 - Chad (N'djamena)

James Whitmee

I am in N'djamena in Chad looking at the office market.

It is a real challenge to find good quality space and the best I have found has been within hotels where the rates can be USD 50-60 /sq m /month. In terms of the rest of the market this is half this price or less.

There continues to be a great deal of construction taking place although this is almost all new Ministries and hotels. The amount of hotel construction relates to a planned African Union conference which I gather is not now going to happen, and with oil related activities here not likely to be increasing in the foreseeable future, it looks like there will be an oversupply.

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18 May 2015 - Angola (Luanda)

Ian Lawrence

I am in Luanda Angola reviewing the office market which is on the cusp of significant change albeit whether or not this will significantly alter pricing in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world is uncertain.

Luanda has an annual take-up of office space of circa 200,000 sq m. The supply is set to increase in the short and medium term. In the short term Banco Economico SA have begun to market the office portfolio acquired from the defunct Banco Espirito Santo which consists of Sky Business, Oceano, BESA new and old HQ together with buildings nearing completion such as Loanda Towers.

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