Housing Finance in Gambia


This profile is also available in French here.

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

The Gambia is one of the smallest and least populated countries in West Africa. It has a land mass of 10,689 km2 and a population of 2.6 million. The increasing migration of people from rural to urban regions places a strain on housing demand. The housing shortage was estimated to be 128 874 dwelling units by 2021.

The Gambian Bureau of Statistics estimated real GDP growth of 4.3% in 2021, compared to 0.6% in 2020. This growth supported an increase in activities relating to fishing and aquaculture, construction, and a moderate recovery in services. The Central Bank of The Gambia forecasts a higher real economic growth of 4.7% in 2022. There are considerable risks to this outlook, including the protracted conflict in Ukraine and the impact of COVID-19.

The dalasi fell 4.6% versus the US dollar in April 2022, but rose 3.9% and 1.8% against the euro and pound sterling, respectively. The headline inflation rate increased from 8.2% in March 2022 to 11.7% in April 2022. In the medium term, inflation is projected to continue to be high due to growing global food and energy costs, as well as structural issues at The Gambia’s port. This will have an impact on the cost of living and negatively impact housing affordability.

Due to the high cost of building materials (basalt, cement, steel, and lumber), land, and borrowing from financial institutions, most diligent middle-class Gambian are unable to purchase a pleasant new house. This is exacerbated by an 11.2% unemployment rate as of the end of 2021, as well as 10.3% of the people living below the poverty line (as of 2021). A two-bedroom property in a city costs D 2.66 million (US$49 305), while a three-bedroom house (220 m2) costs D 5.11 million (US$94 501).

The Gambia’s government has set climate change-related goals that it is working hard to achieve with the help of the international community. The Gambian government does not provide low-cost finance for the creation of affordable homes. This scarcity drives low-income people to build buildings in areas that are inaccessible during the rainy season or unfit for occupancy.

The Home Finance Company of The Gambia was voluntarily liquidated on November 3, 2021, due to unprofitability. As of the end of 2020, the total amount of outstanding mortgages was D 175 million (US$3 238 870), with over 7 000 borrowers as customers.With the closure of this institution, it is now very difficult to get long-term housing loans since commercial banks do not offer that service.

Although microfinance companies are not yet permitted to directly fund long-term housing projects, they also present opportunities for housing finance.

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 2023 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.


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