Housing Finance in Burundi

Overview

For the French version of this country profile, click here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2018 Burundi country profile, click here.

After slowed economic growth and performance since the 2015 elections, Burundi’s economy has stabilized relatively following the 2017 referendum-led reforms. These led to a higher than budgeted tax revenue, in addition to reduced government spending in the same period. The general improvement in Burundi’s economic performance has been reflected in the growth of private sector credit to business entities and households.

Burundi has a high annual population growth rate (3.2 percent) and a predominantly youthful population, which underscores a key demand for the development of the housing and housing finance sector. Delivery of new housing unit stock in Burundi is however still below demand, with private sector development remaining small scale, and focused on the middle to high-end consumer segments. The challenge of large-scale delivery of housing units has remained the lack of capacity for large-scale development, a sluggish return to political stability which repels developers, and the absence of a vibrant effective demand. Sales volumes have also been affected by high interest rates and immature mortgage markets in the country. Construction costs are also fairly high, as a result of high material import costs.

Eighty percent of the property market in Burundi is residential, with the capital city Bujumbura comprising of a more cosmopolitan population. Rental prices in the prime areas of Bujumbura are relatively high compared to local incomes, although the city’s real-estate sector still remains underdeveloped. The market however has potential for targeted construction and delivery of low-priced housing units, though the absence of appropriately positioned developers and sizeable government incentives, also means that the delivery of affordable housing may remain unachievable in the short to medium term.

Access to financial services continues to be a key development challenge in Burundi. Only 12.5 percent of the country’s adult population has an account in a formal financial institution. This low level of financial inclusion in the country has been attributed to lower incomes, low levels of financial education as well as limited coverage of financial institutions in areas outside the capital city of Bujumbura.

Burundi’s National Urban Planning and Housing Policy provides the regulatory framework for the management of water, environment, land and urban developments, and is anticipated to promote the coordinated management of the environment while promoting social development in the country. The policy also creates an enabling framework for the development of land and housing in the country.
Burundi’s 10-year strategic plan, Vision 2025 seeks to achieve the three core objectives of instilling good governance within the rule of law, developing of a strong and competitive economy, and improving residents’ living conditions. These rely on the continuity of relative peace and are expected to create a conducive environment for housing development and investment as well as improved income levels for effective demand. These are anticipated to improve economic growth and local incomes, as well as reduce poverty in the country. International investors will, however, be cautious in their approach as the country prepares for the next general elections in 2020.

Find out more information on Burundi’s housing finance sector, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:


Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2018 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 54 African countries.

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