Housing Finance in Tunisia


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

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

Although Tunisia has not fully met its objectives of achieving increased growth in the economy, it ranks highly in North Africa in terms of economic and human development. This is informed by the shifts such as the 2011 revolution, the adoption of a new constitution and the election of a new government in 2014.

Housing is traditionally the second largest item of expenditure for Tunisian households after food. In 2017 it remained so. Although housing is increasingly available, its affordability has become increasingly problematic since 2011. Increased demand, more onerous liquidity requirements for mortgage lenders, and the limited availability of housing microfinance inhibit the growth of the housing finance market. The depreciation of the Tunisian Dinar as well as the rise in inflation also raised the cost of living and affected the ability of households to access finance.

Over the past four decades, a sophisticated mortgage-based housing finance system has developed. There are a large number of financial institutions offering loan products for housing. Product offerings in this market have become largely undifferentiated, but conditions of access to housing finance have considerably expanded through the launch of specialised products tailored to various categories of clients including high and middle income, salaried workers, but also lower income families who can benefit from subsidised loans. There has been a noticeable reduction in the total value of housing loans which decreased between 2015 and 2016. Mortgage lending is approximately equivalent to 8.6 percent of GDP. While the majority of the population of Tunisia own their homes and do so without a mortgage, there are at least 26 percent of the population (of 2.8 million homeowners) who stand to benefit from affordable housing finance through rental.

Although progressive housing policies which have been passed since independence have encouraged the development of affordable housing in Tunisia.  Factors such high youth unemployment rates have threatened the delivery of affordable housing in the country because low income households cannot qualify for housing loans nor afford to pay a modest unit. Government financial assistance mechanisms for the housing sector mainly consist of financial subsidies, such as subsidised interest rates and tax exoneration on home saving accounts.

As the outlook of capital markets and the banking sector remains uncertain, Tunisians continue to put their money in real estate as housing in Tunisia is still considered a secure and profitable form of investment.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Tunisia, 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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