Housing Finance in Gabon


This profile is also available in french here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2023 Gabon country profile, click here.

Gabon has a population of less than 2.5 million, of which 90% live in cities. In 2021, the urban growth rate was 2.7%. Gabon has a high poverty rate of 32.4% given that it has the fourth highest GDP per capita. The country underperforms in education, power, water, sanitation, life expectancy, and immunization. In urban areas, land disputes result from unplanned slums and tenure insecurity.

Gabon is one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most developed oil-based economies. During 2016–2021, oil accounted for 80% of exports, 45% of GDP, and 60% of fiscal revenue. However, Gabon is subject to oil price volatility while being the main source of economic growth in the past decade. For example, Gabon’s GDP fell to -1.9% in 2020 due to a -2.4% reduction in oil GDP. Due to increasing energy and food prices, CPI inflation rose from 1.1% in 2021 to 2.9% in March 2022. This has an impact on housing finance and affordability.

Gabon ranks 117th on the 2020 Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative (ND-Gain) index. Gabon’s current threats are manageable, but in terms of climate change, the country is largely unprepared. Climate change affects vulnerable populations, urban infrastructure, and the economy, all of which have an impact on affordable housing.

Rapid urbanisation and poor urban planning have resulted in a 260 000–300 000 unit housing shortfall, particularly in the middle and low income classes. Gabon’s high-income segment has met housing demand in Libreville and Port-Gentil. Libreville, one of Africa’s most costly cities, has several high-end residences with significant vacancy rates.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, BGFI Bank and BICIG extended the most loans. Mortgage loans accounted for 0.132% of GDP in 2020, 22.1% less than in 2019. This is the second-lowest mortgage depth among CEMAC members and in Africa. Gabon’s mortgage market has deteriorated since the oil crisis reduced its income and curtailed housing development plans. Although they only assist a small percentage of the population, regulated microfinance institutions are gradually expanding the market. It’s CEMAC’s fourth-largest economy, after Cameroon (412 MFIs), Chad (122), and the DRC.

The urbanisation of Gabon provides opportunities in towns and housing. The rent law demonstrates Congress’ desire to regulate the business. A rent-control measure demonstrates Congress’s desire to regulate the industry and avoid speculation, which would destabilise the rental market and household purchasing power.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Gabon, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2023 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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