Focus Note: Methodology for understanding and quantifying rental markets in Africa

Rental markets are increasingly capturing the attention of policymakers and investors in rapidly urbanising countries across Africa. Available data indicates that over half of all households rent their dwellings in cities such as Nairobi, Lagos, Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Abidjan. Given the size and growth of rental, the sector cannot be regarded as a residual, undesired but necessary segment of the housing market.

Nevertheless, in many cases rental markets remain overlooked, absent from housing policy, and not reflected in any stated housing objectives or targets. In addition, there is often very limited data on rental market activity, other than for commercial property or high end residential market segments.

In 2017 CAHF commissioned research into quantifying residential rental markets in Africa to address this lack of information. The primary aim of the research was to lay the foundation for improved data and analytics on rental markets going forward. This data in turn should highlight rental market investment opportunities, and thereby generate increased investor interest in the sector.

This Focus Note provides a methodological overview of collecting and analysing data on residential rental markets in Africa. It highlights different data sources that are already available, and alternative data collection methodologies for where there are data gaps.  See the full methodology report here.

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