01 Mar 2016 - Tunisia (Tunis)

James Whitmee

I am in Tunis looking at the residential market, particularly around Mutuelleville and Notre Dame, to the north of the city centre. My general findings have been as follows:

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28 Jan 2016 - Algeria (Oran)

James Whitmee

I am in Oran which is Algeria's second city. I was due to get here from Algiers on an internal flight but it turned out that the reservation had not been confirmed. I was on standby all day and had to give up on flying and go by road. It is around 400 km and turned out to be a very long day and I arrived in Oran around midnight.

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13 Jan 2016 - Côte d'Ivoire (Abidjan)

James Whitmee

I am in Abidjan. As is usual nowadays it is buzzing, with the flights and hotels very full.

Carrefour’s PlaYce (that is how it is spelt!) retail development in Marcory has recently opened and it boasts sub-Saharan Africa’s first Burger King.

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04 Dec 2015 - Cameroon (Yaounde)

Ian Lawrence

I arrive in Yaounde at 1am to find that the hotel has failed to arrange the hotel shuttle to pick me up. Beset by hopeful taxi drivers I decide to retreat to arrivals where I borrow the phone of a Cameroonian energy executive (Lucien) who I found waiting for his Turkish client. The hotel confirms that the shuttle isn’t coming and Lucien kindly steps in and agrees to give me a lift.

Yaounde is the administrative capital of the Cameroon. Prime areas for real estate in Yaonde are located in a relatively small geographical area that is centred around the diplomatic zone for accommodation and the CBD for commercial property.

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21 Nov 2015 - Nigeria (Abuja)

James Whitmee

I am in Abuja looking at the residential market.

The highest value locations are in Maitama and Asokoro, which are broadly similar in terms of cost, the former being popular with diplomatic missions and the latter with government.

The market is subdued and has been since before the elections, because of the economic and political uncertainty. Negative exchange rate movement is also a factor.

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18 Oct 2014 - Kyrgyzstan (Bishkek)

Jasen Leith

In the middle of winter as a backdrop to any city the Kyrgyz Ala-Too hills are an impressive sight. I am in a snow covered Bishkek and the impact of this enormous white blanket has managed to blunt the starkness of the 1950’s architecture. In contrast it almost decorates the city’s abundant, larger than life, bronze busts and statues of past leaders and influencers, most notably that of Vladimir Lenin’s statute opposite the Kyrgyz Republic Government building.

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20 Oct 2015 - Laos (Vientiane)

Michael Lowes

I am in Vientiane in Laos looking at offices and land within the city centre for an international client.

The office market has changed rapidly in recent years moving from a situation where there were very few modern office buildings with many companies and organisations occupying villas as offices to a situation where there are now a large number of small and medium sized office developments offering better quality accommodation. Rent for good quality office space is around $ 15 per square metre per month with leases typically having a pre-agreed annual increase in rent over the term of the lease.

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22 Nov 2015 - Costa Rica (Jaco)

Michael Lowes

I am in Jaco in Costa Rica looking at resort type residential developments on the Pacific Coast. The area has an interesting feel as it covers the younger backpacker and surfer market as well as providing more up-market resorts and casinos.

There are a large number of developments providing units which range from basic small economy units, for local week-end visitors, up to large multi-million dollar retirement homes. One particular high end development at Punta Bocana is built on a hillside overlooking Playa Herradura and provides apartments with spectacular views of the bay.

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12 Nov 2015 - Sri Lanka (Colombo)

Michael Lowes

I am in Colombo in Sri Lanka looking at industrial properties near to the city.

The country appears very keen to promote industrial development and increase the flow of foreign direct investment. There are a number of Export Processing Zones(EPZs) which are administered by the Board of Investment (BOI). These zones offer incentives to companies and investors involved in export orientated industries.

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05 Oct 2015 - Norway (Oslo)

Jasen Leith

 

A city on the edge of the sea is not unusual but here you almost feel compelled to arrive by boat from one of the many islands served by the public ferry transportation. I am in Oslo and stepping onto dry land and criss-crossing this very walkable centre, you get to experience a city that offers a charming mix of old and new.

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22 Nov 2015 - DRC (Kinshasa)

Ian Lawrence

I arrived in Kinshasa late and was relieved to find my driver waiting for me, not so much as I was concerned about security but because I was tired and didn’t want the hassle of arranging transport to my hotel. The Driver had been laid on by my client who also arranged a security briefing the next day which made me think that maybe I should have been a little more concerned about my security when I arrived.

In Kinshasa levels of street robberies are lower than most European cities, it just they happen to occur in a relatively small area of the city and when things do not run smoothly incidents can escalate quickly so it is important to be informed, cautious and aware.

I was looking at the property market where the story varies depending on the sector and the location. In Gombe the heart of the diplomatic and expat area demand is outstripping supply with villas on the best developments being preleased and developers holding waiting lists of potential clients. Offices in this area are also in demand and rents reach circa USD 27 /sq m /month. Further out and away from Gombe this picture rapidly alters for the residential market and villa owners are forced to lower their rent expectations to attract occupiers.

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08 Nov 2015 - Côte d'Ivoire (Abidjan)

James Whitmee

I am in Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire. The elections have recently taken place and these went well and there is a lot of positivity with economic growth of around 10% predicted over the next year. There is much happening, and we will see a surge of international investor interest and new real estate development over the next several years.

In terms of what has recently been done, the new bridge connecting Cocody with Marcory is completed and is well-used, costing CFA 500 each way. The Sofitel renovation of the old Hotel Ivoire has been done, and they are now also offering executive apartments to rent. The extension of the Cap Sud supermarket is also finished along with a multi-storey car park.

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22 Oct 2015 - Nigeria (Lagos Mainland)

James Whitmee

I am in Lagos this week and I have been looking at some of the new development on the Mainland.

There is a lot of hotel construction, but I also visited two new retail centres which are currently being constructed, being Maryland Mall on the Ikorodu Road and Oasis Centre on Police land at Ikeja. The former is 90% prelet with a new Shoprite opening + a Genesis cinema.

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