Housing Finance in Burundi


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2022 Burundi country profile, click here.

Many Burundians fled to neighbouring nations after 2015’s contentious elections and violence. About 250 000 Burundian refugees remain in Tanzania, Rwanda, the DRC, and Uganda. Floods and landslides displaced 116,000 people. Burundi received BIF 22 billion ($10.7 million) in EU humanitarian aid. Returnees are assisted in registering for humanitarian aid and getting crucial documentation, including birth certificates.

Burundi has a BIF7.2 trillion (USD 3.5 billion) GDP and few economic growth alternatives. Agriculture employs 80% of the 12.3 million people.Burundi’s GDP grew 1.8% in 2021, up from 0.3% in 2020. This was attributed to a comeback in services and sustained progress in agriculture as COVID-19 limitations were eased. The country’s GDP projection predicts a moderate rebound in 2022, driven by the agri-food industry.

Rising inflation has hit the housing sector hard, causing price increases in building materials and a deterioration in the purchasing power of low-income households.This increase was largely due to both food inflation (15.1% against 10.7% the previous year) and non-food inflation (10.4% against 3.7% the previous year), particularly following the global impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on fuel and commodity prices.

The housing sector continues to be underserved, accounting for just 17.6% of the total loan portfolio as of December 2021. This adds to the difficulties of getting loans to fund long-term undertakings, such as home construction. Despite the observed rise in credit, the proportion of short-term loans remains high, at roughly 40%.

Peasants in Burundi can’t afford basic homes and sanitation. On the supply side, developer businesses and individual customers can’t afford housing-related investments. Due to a weak long-term lending market and greater competition from government infrastructure projects, formal lenders have maintained high interest rates. Long-term loans to fund equipment purchases average 10.9%, while loans to the housing industry attract the highest rate of 19.36% in 2021, up considerably from 15.94% the previous year, making housing development financing the costliest of all sectors. This is due to a significant budget deficit, which is funded by domestic borrowing.

The recent pick-up in economic activity following COVID-19 offers prospects for rapid housing sector expansion. Additional financial allocations to the transport and energy sectors may increase connections and open up new settlement regions, providing housing sector infrastructure. More has to be done to entice large-scale developers into Burundi’s affordable housing market.

Find out more information on Burundi’s housing finance sector, including key stakeholders, important policies, and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2022 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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