I think there are four main factors that affect the property market in the Ivory Coast:
1) Population growth and 2) economic growth in the Ivory Coast affecting the demand side
3) New construction – the supply side
4) Politics affecting both supply and demand
I’ll write a post about each of these factors, but first a comment on not including global economic up- and downturns in the main factors.
If there was more tourism, if the financial sector was more integrated with the rest of the world, if more people took mortgages and if the Ivory Coast exported more value added products – essentially if things were better – then the recent global recession would have had a greater impact on the Ivory Coast and its property market. As it is, the global recession did have an impact on the property market, but the local factors dominate, making the Ivory Coast property market quite uncorrelated to the rest of the world.
With correlations among asset classes increasing all across the world, I think real estate in the Ivory Coast and West Africa would be quite attractive to international funds and large investors. It’s just that it is difficult to invest in it without actually going to the Ivory Coast and buy stuff. They may exist, but I have not yet seen a mutual fund, ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) or REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust) aimed at West African real estate.
So, well, that’s a business idea for the taking, to make West African real estate more available on financial markets. When my micro-business gets larger I might look into it.