Housing Finance in Southern African Development Community (SADC)


The most recent regional profile for Southern Africa is from 2019, and is also available in French here.

To download the full SADC regional profile as it appears in the 2019 Housing Finance Yearbook, click here. To view updated data for the region, as it appears in the 2020 Housing Finance Yearbook, click here.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a regional economic community made up of 16 member states. Established in 1992, SADC was founded on the need to promote the integration of southern African markets. To date, this has been influenced by both economic and political factors. The introduction of the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (SISR), in 2017, is symbolic of the SADC’s effort to foster industrial development and deepen regional linkages. Despite this, the SADC as a whole is characterised by high unemployment and poverty levels, the failure to structurally transform its economies, environmental challenges, high inflation and rising debt levels. This continues to undermine the region’s socio-economic growth potential.

A lack of adequate infrastructure in the region constrains integration efforts, deters investors and retards economic growth even further. This has implications for the development of housing. Access to finance for infrastructure development also remains a key challenge for many member states.

There is no policy framework that aims to address the massive backlog of housing or affordable stock production at the regional level. Individual member states have developed national policies that prioritise inclusionary housing, although implementation remains slow. The Regional Development Fund (RDF) could potentially bridge the gap in financing for bulk infrastructure, and in turn support housing delivery profoundly.

The banking sector is largely concentrated by South African owned banks. Overall, the SADC financial system is relatively underdeveloped. Although financial inclusion, through mobile money services has been on the rise, high interest rates serve to exclude the majority of the population from accessing formal mortgage loans.

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