Housing Finance in Guinea Bissau


This profile is also available in French here.

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

Guinea-Bissau is one of the poorest countries in Africa and has been plagued by political instability since its independence from Portugal in 1974. High rates of poverty and the cost of living are partly responsible for housing shortages in Guinea-Bissau. The country has a small population of 2 026 778, of which 45% is urbanised. With an average annual urban growth of 3.4%, demand for housing has increased over the years. The cost of living in Bissau is relatively high compared to the financial ability of most of its citizens.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has forecast that Guinea-Bissau’s economy will grow by 3.8% from 2020 to 2021, boosted by a recovery in the cashew sector. The inflation rate is projected to reach 4.1% by the end of 2022 and decrease to 3.2% in 2023. The envisaged economic growth and poverty reduction remain uncertain given the country’s history of political instability. population growth and urbanisation rate.

Guinea-Bissau is the second-most vulnerable state to sea level rise, after only Bangladesh. Climate issues have affected agricultural produce in the past and added to the country’s housing crisis. The Green Climate Fund has approved approximately CFA (US$2 million) in financing to establish a national adaptation planning process to increase resilience.

Another major constraint on housing supply is construction costs. As a country that relies heavily on imports, most of Guinea-osts. As a country that relies heavily on imports, most of Guinea-Bissau’s building materials are imported, resulting in high building material costs and, as a result, higher housing prices. For example, a one-bedroom apartment in Bissau’s city centre costs CFA214 900.96 (US$341.08) per month, while one outside the city centre costs CFA119 913.84 (US$190.32).

On the housing supply side in Guinea-Bissau, most houses are made of adobe, mud, and a mixture of woven branches and straw. In 2020, only 18% of the total population had access to basic sanitation, 40.9% had drinking water, and 33% had access to electricity. According to recent data on the country’s housing sector, over 76.3% of households live in adobe brick dwellings, 14.5% in reinforced adobe brick dwellings, and 5.4% in cement block dwellings.

Guinea-Bissau’s outstanding mortgages were valued at CFA 69.306 million (US$0.1 million) in 2021, according to the latest annual report by the Bank of Guinea-Bissau. Banks’ interest rates on residential mortgages range from 7.5% to 12%. Residential mortgages offered by banks in the country have a maximum term of 15 years.

The CRRH’s longer-term funding through its bond programme allows banks to extend the tenure of their mortgage loans, making them more affordable and allowing low- and middle-income households to buy or build homes. Expanding housing finance puts credit within reach of traditionally disadvantaged groups, such as women and MSMEs, and harnesses urbanisation to promote economic growth.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Guinea-Bissau, 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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