Housing Finance in Mauritania


This profile is also available in French here.

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

Despite the pandemic, economic growth in Mauritania increased by 2.3% in 2021 as a result of higher private consumption, investment, and service sector performance. The annual rate of inflation, as measured by the national consumer price index, increased from 2.4% in 2020 to 3.6% in 2021.income levels and employment.

The Mauritanian government said in December 2021 that the nation’s unemployment rate had increased to over 37%, or roughly 500,000 people. This is a very high number, which makes finding affordable housing even more difficult. Despite the fact that 56% of the workforce is employed in the informal sector, their pay is poor and variable.

The value of net outstanding loans for microfinance institutions was UM682 000 000 (US$18 756 789), a 28% increase compared to 2020. an increase that can be attributed to the increasing unemployment rate and difficulties the population faces with regards to gaining access to affordable housing and/or finance.

The average annual expenditure of urban households in Mauritania is UM234 665 (US$6 393). Urban households allocate about 20.4% of their resources to housing expenses. The expenditure is significantly higher in areas of Nouakchott (UM223 890 or US$6 158).The rising expenditure by urban households, added to high unemployment and low wages, means housing in Mauritania becomes less affordable on average.

Because of the limitations on the building industry, including untrustworthy businesses, missed deadlines, and shifting costs, the real estate sector in Mauritania is not highly established. This prevents meeting the time, money, and technical commitments to sponsors and clients. This has a negative impact on the housing supply.

In terms of supply, which remains a major issue for the housing market, however, semi-modern housing accounts for 92.48 percent of housing units in urban areas, and informal housing makes up 4.87% of the housing stock.

In terms of climate vulnerability and its impact on affordability, Mauritania is hampered by a scarcity of building materials as well as a harsh climate that causes materials to deteriorate quickly. Other major challenges affecting housing include desertification and water scarcity, which result in habitat loss as the population is forced to seek out more habitable areas in the long run.

Finally, there is an opportunity to provide more Islamic microfinance products, as some people have cited religion as a reason for not taking out microfinance loans. This targeted approach can also benefit the informal sector.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Mauritania, 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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