Real Estate ads
I recently got a reader question about how much an apartment in the Plateau district of Abidjan would cost. And I actually have no idea. One of the differences between the real estate market in Abidjan (plus I guess other major cities in West Africa) and Europe is that sales of individual apartments is relatively uncommon. Instead, more often, whole multi-storey buildings bought and sold, and the owner of the whole building lets the individual apartments.
Here are real estate ads from Ivorian newspaper Nord-Sud as of 11/11/2011:
Five billion, special price only for you my friend!
In Plateau we have
Plateau : 02 immeubles R+5 et R+8 RM : 52 millions à 5 milliards
This very small ad is for two buildings, ground floor + 5 storeys and + 8 storeys, sold together for 5 billion CFA Francs or 7.6 million euro, with a stated return of 52 million CFA Franc (79,300 euro) per month.
Not quite for the small scale investor in other words. Quite cool that a whole building is advertised in the same way as a used car though, and seems to be almost as easy to buy. Unfortunately out of my league though.
On this whole page of real estate ads there are only two ads for individual apartments for sale, and none in Plateau.
Another thing with these real estate ads is the dominance of luxury villas for rent. Examples:
Marcory résidentiel : (remblais) une villa duplex de 15 pièces haut standing meublée + piscine. Prix :8.000.000
II Plateaux 3ème tranche: villa duplex de 13 pièces haut standing neuf sur 1000m². Prix : 2.300.00
Villa duplex 6P avec piscine – 1 500 000F/mois
Villa duplex 6P avec piscine – dépendance – 2 500 000F /moi
The top one is a two floor 15 room villa with swimming pool, in an upscale residential area for rent at a not-so-modest 8 million CFA per month ( 12,195 euro).
Guess the luxury part of the market is where estate agencies make most commission. Online, the top end segment is less dominant, but it’s still a big part of the market. One reason is probably the income distribution with 0.5% or so super-rich, a far too small middle class, and all the rest.
In Europe luxury villas like these are more often bought than rented. In the Ivory Coast I guess you have executive level expats from the private sector, NGOs and the diplomatic world, that all require high standard living on a non-permanent basis.
I still kind of think that the prices are surprisingly high in Abidjan. I looked at rental prices for top end villas in Sweden and they are lower than in Abidjan. The whole developed world – developing world difference seems to break down in the top end segment. Essentially, for 8 million CFA Franc per month you can get anything you want in Sweden.