Report Series: Landscape of Housing Investment_ Burundi

Country Report

The financial sector in Burundi is the least developed in the EAC region. According to the Bank of the Republic of Burundi (BRB), the use of formal financial services is shallow. Only 12.5 percent of the population have a savings account and 2.9 percent have a formal bank loan. The majority of the depositors (over 90 percent) hold only one account and the vast majority of the borrowers (over 95 percent) have only one loan.

The report presents and in-depth analysis of the landscape of investment in Burundi. It provides useful data on existing DFI investors, the type of instruments they use to invest and the investment environment they operate in. The report forms part of The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance’s Investor Programme which aims at quantify the breadth of investment activity with respect to housing and housing finance across Africa, and to establish a mechanism to track this on an ongoing basis. This project has collected data and highlights gaps and opportunities in the investment landscape. With the aim of stimulating greater investment in affordable housing and connecting investors with potential investments, the report profiles investors and investment instruments with the greatest impact on the housing finance market within the EAC Region. Growing financial sector experience and increasingly sophisticated financial instruments are driving Investor interest in African real estate. This includes new market opportunities related to a rising urban middle class, an increasingly localized construction material industry and innovations in housing finance such the emergence of Real Estate Investment Trusts and mortgage liquidity facilities across Africa. However, a key barrier to this growth remains the chronic lack of rigorous data on the breadth and character of financial infrastructure investment. This is particularly true for the housing sector as stimulating targeted investments requires highly differentiated data that illustrates market segmentation. In providing market intelligence that makes the case for investment in underserved markets (segmenting and quantifying the demand side; and scoping, understanding and tracking the supply side), we can support a better policy environment & increased private sector activity in affordable housing markets. In this way, we catalyse scale interventions. Without this data, targeted interventions become challenging and result in unresponsive housing finance packages, the high occurrence of Non-performing loans (NPLs) and poor uptake of new residential developments.

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