28 Jan 2019 - Uzbekistan (Tashkent)

Jasen Leith

Arriving at Tashkent International airport I am reminded that cash is king with the severe lack of ATMs anywhere. When I finally find one it’s a USD only machine and that you need to exchange your ‘’winnings’’ into the local currency. That being said it is an immensely efficient airport and with the help of the friendly airport taxi service, who will also sell you a local sim card, bottled water and soft drinks, I am heading through the early morning darkness to my hotel. I am in Tashkent, Uzbekistan looking at the residential development land market.

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14 Jan 2019 - Armenia (Yerevan)

Jasen Leith

Rerouting an original flight now via Moscow to arrive at Zvartnots the rather aptly named ‘’Celestial angels’’ airport on an overnight flight, is a shock to the system. Exiting the warm airport, the -4 degree air temperature hits the lungs with a vengeance. Snow and more snow and not a ski lift in sight. I am in Yerevan, Armenia looking at the residential villa market and commercial development land market, respectively.

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13 Dec 2018 - Niger (Niamey)

James Whitmee

I am spending the week in Niamey, the capital of Niger, looking at the villa market.

There is a lot going on here in terms of construction, with an Islamic College being built by Saudi Arabia and a significant programme of hotel construction in advance of next year's African Union conference.

However, there has been nothing like the amount of construction that I saw in N'djamena in Chad when they were intending to host the same conference (and then cancelled it), and I am not sure this event will bring any international hotel brands into the Niger market.

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31 Oct 2018 - DRC (Goma)

James Whitmee

I am in Goma which is the capital of North Kivu province in DRC, and right on the border with Rwanda. It is in a spectacular setting as it is on Lake Kivu, surrounded by mountains and with a large volcano just to the north of the city (Mount Nyiragongo).

The city is split into zones with Zone A being closest to the country border, moving westwards through Zones B-D. The main real estate drivers are 1) access to mains power and water and 2) security and routes for evacuation (the city was evacuated across the border to Gisenyi in the early 2000s when Mount Nyiragongo last erupted). Zone A is the best in terms of these criteria.

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25 Sep 2018 - Lisbon (Portugal)

Charles Hector Whitmee

This week I am in the outskirts of Lisbon, where, despite it being September, it has consistently been over 30° C. I have been studying the residential market in two areas, namely, Amoreira and São João do Estoril. Amoreira is an up and coming location which has seen significant development over recent years with demand in Cascais and Estoril having outstripped supply forcing buyers and developers to look further inland. São João do Estoril, on the other hand, is a well-established, coastal location popular with expats and high-income Portuguese who work in the capital.

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27 Jun 2018 - Morocco (Marrakech)

James Whitmee

I am in Morocco looking at the retail market. Yesterday I was in Casablanca where I visited AnfaPlace, Morocco Mall and Tachfine Center.

I hired a car and last night I drove down to Marrakech. The road is good and it took me about 2.5 hours. Today I have been looking at Menara Mall, Carre Eden and Al Mazar.

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10 May 2018 - Algeria (Oran)

James Whitmee

I am in Oran which is Algeria's second city after Algiers, and around 400 km from the capital.

There has been a lot of luxury apartment and touristic development here, and there is some major public construction taking place including new roads and the Stadium at Bir El Djir which is being built for the Mediterranean Games (taking place in 2021). There is a much wider choice of hotels here than in Algiers and they are generally better and cheaper.

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28 Sep 2018 - Liberia (Monrovia)

James Whitmee

I am in Monrovia in Liberia looking at the housing market. I have been focusing on the areas of Sinkor and Mamba Point, although today I took a detour and went out to Bushrod Island to see the Freeport.

The real estate market has been severely knocked off course because of a combination of:

  • UN peacekeeping force leaving the country
  • Low iron-ore prices
  • Oil companies retracting because of the high cost of extraction from the off-shore fields
  • Liberia was the hardest hit country during the West Africa Ebola outbreak

There are also protests this week in Monrovia because a consignment of newly printed currency representing 5% of GDP has gone missing en route for delivery to the Central Bank.

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26 Jul 2018 - Bangladesh (Dhaka)

James Whitmee

I am in Dhaka in Bangladesh. I have travelled here from Mali and have brought the rain with me. It is monsoon season here and that’s a challenge as this is very much a walk-the-streets project. I am here looking at the office market. I was in Dhaka late last year when I was focussed on the Farmgate/Sonargaon area of the city. I am now a bit further north in the “international corporate” area of Gulshan, Banani, Tejgaon (also an industrial area) and Mohakhali.

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30 May 2018 - Mauritania (Nouakchott)

James Whitmee

I am in Nouakchott in Mauritania. I was last here one year ago and there continues to be a lot of progress.

Most of the recent construction they have done here is of infrastructure. The new Nouakchott-Oumtouncy Airport is one of the best I have been to in West Africa, and it is efficient with a visa-on-arrival system.

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14 Sep 2018 - Trinidad (Port of Spain)

James Whitmee

I am in Port of Spain in Trinidad looking at the office market. I have come here on a plane that island hops, and by the time I get back to the UK I will have been in five Caribbean countries.

The major users of office space in Port of Spain comprise Government and the oil companies. BP is probably the largest single corporate user of offices with 150,000+ sq ft.

Government is now mostly located to the south of the city, and in particular in the new, high-rise development which has taken place on the waterfront around the Hyatt and Radisson hotels at Downtown Port.

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18 Jul 2018 - Mali (Bamako)

James Whitmee

I am in Bamako in Mali. I am reviewing the residential market, particularly in the areas of ACI 2000, Badalabougou, and Cite du Niger. They are all very good areas, but quite different at the same time.

ACI 2000 is the site of the old airport. When I first started coming here, twelve years ago, it was a relatively new area and the Americans had just moved their embassy there. It is now a major commercial area and along the main boulevards there are some of Bamako’s biggest office buildings. Here is a photo over part of ACI 2000 which I took today.

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25 May 2018 - Tanzania (Arusha)

Arturo Pavani

Sitting exactly halfway between Cairo and Cape Town, on a lush and green elevated plain, is Arusha. This quiet and little town is home to the East African Community Offices, and the point of departure for the many safaris in the area, like the ones to the famous Ngorongoro crater, or as starting point to climb mount Meru (4562 m), which is commonly considered to be a good warm up hike for those who then want to move on to the more challenging Kilimanjaro (5895 m).

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