Housing Finance in Gambia


This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2020 The Gambia country profile, click here.

The Gambia is one of Africa’s smallest countries and is bordered by Senegal to the north and Guinea Bissau to the south. Over the last five years, there has been a concerted effort by government to undertake economic sector reforms supported by international donors. One of the notable interventions involves the 2018 National Development Plan which highlights three key results for land use planning in the form of a National Land Policy, a Land Use Plan and a Nationwide Cadastral Map.

The IMF’s 2019 Country Report notes that The Gambia is enjoying a strong economic recovery with a good prospect of sustained growth over the medium term. It is anticipated that the reforms will improve The Gambia’s Ease of Doing Business ranking which ranks at 134 out of 190 economies for getting credit, and at 132 for registering property. The legal system is tripartite, based on statute law/English common law, Sharia (Islamic law), and customary law. The land tenure system in The Gambia is shaped by its colonial history. Three tenure types exist: freehold, leasehold, and customary. According to the Gambia Bureau of Statistic’s Income and Household Survey, 56.1 percent of households in The Gambia live in owner-occupied dwellings, with 31.2 percent living in rented housing.

Currently, only the Home Finance Company Limited offers mortgages to customers and mortgage market penetration remains low. The Gambia has a pension industry that actively supports housing through the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation (SSHFC). The SSHFC  is embarking on extending housing facilities in the urban centres of the country. With an estimated deficit of 50000 units, the main challenge for private and public sector players will be delivering housing units targeted at the lower ends of the market. There is however an opportunity for the government and the financial industry to develop housing microfinance products that support the efforts of the majority of households that are incrementally building their homes.

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

Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2020 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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