Housing Finance in Liberia


This profile is also available in French here.

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

The Central Bank of Liberia expects annual growth to rise from 3.6% in 2021 to 4.5% in 2022 and inflation to fall from 13.1% to 5.5%. The average lending rate has remained stable at 12.4% since 2019, and the exchange rate fell from L$171.28 to L$152.37 (US$1.00) on July 1, 2022. Given that Liberia has a dual currency regime that recognises the US dollar and the Liberian dollar as legal tender, a decrease in the exchange rate reduces housing affordability by creating a savings of L$18.91 for every US$1 created.

Liberia has a population of 5.3 million people, with 2.66 million living in cities. According to the World Bank, Liberia’s population growth rate is 2.4%, its slum population is 70%, and its population living below the national poverty line is 50.9%. Because wages in Liberia are low, housing affordability is a major issue. In addition, World Bank data for 2021 show an unemployment rate of 4.1%, a population living below the national poverty line of 50.9%, and a 90% rate of informal employment. Because of these conditions, many financial products and current housing solutions are out of reach for a large portion of the population. As a result, in order to increase affordability, the National Housing Authority (NHA) provides land to private developers at a price lower than the current market price through a public-private partnership arrangement.

Flooding is the most common climatic risk in urban areas. This is because Monrovia has the world’s wettest capital city, with an annual average rainfall of 179 inches (4.547 meters). As a result, during the rainy season, several communities are flooded and residents are displaced. To address climatic risks, a national disaster management policy is in place.

The rental rate in urban areas was 46.3%, with a two-bedroom house renting for L$30,474 (US$200) in central Monrovia. The cheapest newly built two-house apartment (150 square metres) by a private developer, Millennium Property, costs L$6.09 million (US$40 000), making it out of reach for civil servants earning the minimum wage of L$19 046 (US$125).

The number of outstanding residential mortgages in Zambia increased from 337 in 2021 to 522 in 2022. The total mortgage amount was L$2.29 billion (US$15 million), with a maximum mortgage amount of US$100,000. There were no changes in the LBDI’s minimum interest rate of 8% or mortgage term of 10 years.

The diaspora community represents an untapped opportunity for Liberia’s low-income earners, who currently rely on informal housing solutions. There are no formal private developers offering rental housing or rent-to-own options in the area. Lenders should consider mortgage refinancing options and extend the current maximum mortgage term to more than ten years.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Liberia, 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 54 African countries.

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