Housing Finance in Sao Tome and Principe


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

To download a pdf version of the full 2018 São Tomé e Príncipe country profile, click here.

The housing finance landscape in São Tomé e Príncipe exists in a small financial system composed of negative profitability, a high component of non-performing loans, and low capital adequacy. Banks are faced with capital deficiencies and a lack of feasible projects exacerbated by a dwindling availability of reserves of foreign currency. Access to credit in STP is difficult due to high interest rates and a general lack of regulatory policies to ensure credit distribution. The country also lacks a regulatory framework in which credit could be facilitated and monitored, increasing the risk of providing credit. Nevertheless, loans for construction, trade and consumption account for the largest proportions of credit by the economic sector. There is currently no state strategy to develop microfinance institutions and no formal regulatory framework to support the growth and development of the sector, which is almost nonexistent with only a single operator.

São Tomé e Príncipe is characterized by high levels of urban poverty in urban centers with unaffordable living costs. High construction costs significantly affect the costs of housing. Affordability is further constrained by a limited and undefined system of housing credit. Approximately two thirds of the population are employed in the informal economy and relies on an informal housing market, community savings and micro-credit schemes.

Housing, and particularly affordable housing, do not appear to be a primary deliverable for the government and investors in São Tomé e Príncipe, however given the objectives of the National Land Use Plan, affordable housing is expected to form part of any inclusive or holistic poverty reduction strategy.


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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