06 May 2019 - Algeria (Algiers)

James Whitmee

I am in Algiers in Algeria.

There was a push last year prior to the ousting of President Bouteflika, to complete some of the major totemic Algiers projects. The only one which is completed is the new airport extension, which is currently mainly being used for French flights. There are plans to make Algiers more of a travel hub for Sub-Saharan Africa, and to compete with Casa and Addis. There is also talk of relaxing visa regulations to promote tourism.

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01 May 2019 - Chad (N'djamena)

James Whitmee

I am in N'djamena for the week, It is very hot here currently with the temperature today around 45 degrees.

I am staying in the downtown area of the city close to Ave Charles de Gaulle. Thiis is where all of the banks are located, many of the ministries, and businesses such as Bollore, Air France, PwC and Deloitte.

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11 Apr 2019 - DRC (Kinshasa)

James Whitmee

I am in Kinshasa in DRC. I started off at the Grand Hotel in Gombe, but have now moved to Le Cypres which is a nice, small hotel in Ngaliema.

It has been tough for hotels here in the last couple of years because of the economic and political instability. There are a five 4-5* hotels representing just under 900 beds, and occupancy has been sub-50%. Prices in this sector are up to $250 per night. The 3* market is a bit stronger, generally charging in the range of $100-150 per night.

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26 Mar 2019 - Indonesia (Jakarta)

Jasen Leith

An internal flight on a Saturday mid-morning is a very civilised time to fly. I arrive in the very new International airport which was not open when I last touched down in October in Jakarta. I am on an assignment looking at the luxury tower apartments market. The airport is very modern, and it is truly a vast terminal but as travellers come to expect with all modern airports, with their passenger friendly features, I am very swiftly through and heading to the melee of downtown Jakarta. 

 

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15 Mar 2019 - Sierra Leone (Freetown)

Ian Lawrence

I have just returned from Sierra Leone where the speedboat trip across the bay from the airport to Freetown provided just the adrenaline rush needed to shake of the feeling of drowsiness from my flight.

I stayed at the Country Lodge, Hill Station which has great views across the city and is still a little cooler than the coastal region despite the fact that most of the trees have now gone from the hill. A reminder of what it was like before deforestation comes in the form of the Cotton Tree that marks the centre of Freetown. It is said to be over 300 years old and is home to a colony of bats.

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6 Mar 2019 - Senegal (Dakar)

James Whitmee

I am in Dakar looking at the prime office market and apartments across the peninsular. I have based myself in Ngor up in the north near to the old airport, but I have been working north-south from Les Almadies, through Mermoz, Fann, Point E and down to Plateau.

The prime office market is relatively small and most speculatively developed buildings run with vacancy of around 10-15%. There are a variety of finishes from fitted to a shell condition. Prime rent I would put at CFA 12,000 /sq m before tax (18% VAT + 3.6% TOM – TOM is a waste management tax). Service charge may be in addition at around 15%.

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29 Jan 2019 - Senegal (Dakar)

James Whitmee

I am in Dakar for the week valuing various land parcels and mid-market apartment developments across the peninsular.

The most significant real estate development is now taking place at Diamniadio (around 30 km to the east of Dakar) where Government is moving its ministries. This will clearly have an impact on the peninsular of Dakar with other businesses likely to follow government.

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21 Mar 2019 - Indonesia (Medan)

Jasen Leith

 Jet lag is manageable as I board my flight at Kuala Lumpur and despite crossing the sea and landing in another country the flight is up and down in just over an hour. I am now in a 2nd country in a week, arriving in the city of Medan, Northern Sumatra, Indonesia looking at commercial development land market. Arriving in the morning means I have avoided all of the long-haul flight midday arrivals, and whilst Europeans may not consider Medan as a destination numerous flights from the Middle east, South East Asia and China suggest we are missing something. I am quickly through immigration and after a week in KL I am less affected by the heat which has climbed to33 degrees, I am in the taxi and arrive at my Hotel and it is not even 11 am.

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13 Mar 2019 - Liberia (Monrovia)

James Whitmee

I am in Monrovia in Liberia looking at the land market.

It is complicated because only Liberians can own real estate, and to be Liberian you have to be of African descent, but almost of the major developers are foreign.

Therefore, all ownership by foreigners, which includes embassies, is based on a lease from Government or a Liberian company or person, normally for 30 years+ with rent reviews, sometimes with an upfront premium, compensation for buildings, profit share etc.

All of this makes the land market very difficult to analyse, with concerns that the ownership laws might encourage foreigners to withdraw their investments from the country.

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28 Feb 2019 - Mali (Bamako)

James Whitmee

I am in Bamako in Mali. It is spring here and the weather is mild which has made it relatively comfortable walking around the city. However, the place is not pedestrian-friendly because of the amount of traffic and the speed at which it moves (motorbikes particularly), so you need to be very careful crossing roads.

Property prices in Bamako are relatively expensive, and are generally equally if not more costly than the more developed Francophone West African markets of Dakar (Senegal) and Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire). In term of benchmarks, prime offices here lease for up to CFA 12,000-15,000 /sq m /month and a prime ex-pat apartment would be up CFA 1,500,000 /month, with sometimes up to CFA 2,000,000 quoted.

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18 Mar 2019 - Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)

Jasen Leith

 The prospect of a winter sun break always lifts the spirits. My trip this time is a whistle stop one with 2 countries and 3 cities in 9 days and the prospect of a couple of blogs along the way. Airports in Asia are chilly at the best of times and a brisk walk is a double benefit firstly as a wake up for the legs after an 18-hour flight and secondly to get warm. On exiting the airport, I walk into a wall, one of 33 degrees heat and 60% humidity at 5pm, it was just delightful. I am in Kuala Lumpur looking at the high-end residential market.

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7 Mar 2019 - Kenya (Nairobi)

Charles Hector Whitmee

This week I am in Nairobi looking at the industrial land market. With an oversupply of office space, shops, homes and hotels, industrial is perhaps the only sector in and around Nairobi which currently has a buzz around it.


In 2018, JLL reported that total demand for industrial property in East Africa surpassed that of West Africa for the first time, with Ethiopia and Kenya being the main drivers of growth. In fact, the same study projected that demand for industrial property in Kenya would grow by 3.6% year-on-year over the next decade. This is in large part due to major infrastructure projects which have begun to attract foreign investment into Kenya, as the country seeks to become the regional logistics hub for East Africa. These infrastructure projects include:

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06 Feb 2019 - Djibouti (Djibouti)

James Whitmee

I am in Djibouti looking at the residential real estate market. I am staying downtown but researching the upmarket areas of Heron and Haramous. It is currently the equivalent of winter here, but still around 30 degrees - last time I was here it was much hotter.

People start work in Djibouti at around 7am and work through to midday. They then break for four hours before starting again. That break is pretty strictly observed, and during that period, even in downtown, the streets are quiet and shops and restaurants are closed.

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