Housing Finance in eSwatini


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2019 eSwatini country profile, click here.

The Kingdom of eSwatini is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. It is one of the smallest countries on the continent with a population of 1.3 million. The economy is dominated by subsistence agriculture, with about 70 percent of the population living in rural areas. Eswatini has strong economic linkages to South Africa and duties from its membership in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) are an important source of revenue for the government.

Thirty seven percent of the adult population are financially excluded. Financial inclusion is a strategic vision for the country’s Ministry of Finance. The Kingdom of eSwatini aims to increase access to formal products through mobile money services, grow bank and credit access, ensure the availability of risk management products and create alternative channels to serve the poor.

Eswatini has a high unemployment rate of 26.4%. Commercial bank requirements often exclude applicants from accessing formal mortgage loans. The greatest driver for household credit in eSwatini is generally living expenses.

Housing delivery on behalf of the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini is delegated to the Swaziland National Housing Board (SNHB). The SNHB was appointed by the government to implement a phased housing programme to finance, construct and manage housing units for civil servants. The SNHB also manages and leases residential estates. Although mandated to provide housing finance, SNHB is constrained financially.

Although there is currently no legislation governing real estate agents in eSwatini, there are numerous policies and legislations that guide how land and real estate is treated. The Constitution formally recognises a dual land tenure system –Swazi Nation Land held by the King and privately-owned land.

There are opportunities to partner or invest in institutions such as SNHB to meet eSwatini’s housing needs. The dynamic microfinance sector and high number of Savings and Credit Co-Operative Societies (SACCOS) in the country also means there is potential to leverage these institutions to finance incremental housing.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of eSwatini, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2019 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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