Jones Lang LaSalle on Africa: 20 Cities to watch

What do London and Paris have in common with Cape Town and Johannesburg?

Surely not the weather…

Rather, Jones Lang LaSalle’s research has identified these cities as the most transparent and most actively traded in their respective continents.

While Europe’s established real estate markets and densely populated cities will continue to be the focus of investors’ interest for years to come, attention is starting to be drawn to the opportunities offered by Africa.  Our recent research identifies 20 African cities that will make their mark on the commercial real estate sector over the next decade.  Rapid urbanisation, youthful populations and solid GDP growth present investors, corporates and retailers with major opportunities for development and expansion.

The 20 cities to watch are:

  • Angola: Luanda
  • Egypt: Alexandria, Cairo
  • Ethiopia: Addis Ababa
  • Ghana: Accra
  • Kenya: Mombasa, Nairobi
  • Morocco: Casablanca, Marrakech, Rabat, Tangiers
  • Mozambique: Maputo
  • Nigeria: Abuja, Lagos
  • South Africa: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg
  • Tanzania: Dar es Salaam
  • Tunisia: Tunis
  • Zambia: Lusaka

Surprised? You shouldn’t be – but you’re not alone.  Africa is often perceived as a continent plagued by conflict and corruption.  Admittedly poor real estate transparency continues to constrain many of these cities, but operating environments are selectively improving and there are potentially huge pay-offs for  those cities that can strengthen regulatory control and the fairness of transaction processes. 

The 20 cities collectively represent an urban population of 70 million people and 11 of the cities are located in just four countries.  A closer look at these countries reveals that corporates and investors are already seizing opportunities, which is paving the way for others to follow suit:

  • Egypt: Cairo, the most populous city in Africa, and a key target for developers, despite political and economic uncertainties
  • Morocco: Casablanca, the largest city in the Maghreb region and an emerging outsourcing hub
  • Nigeria: Lagos, the commercial hub of Africa’s second-largest economy and a city witnessing rapid GDP growth at over 7 percent
  • South Africa: The continent’s only transparent real estate market

Interested in learning more? Please visit Jones Lang LaSalle’s Research resources:

Africa - Map



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About the Author

Jeremy is a Director within JLL’s Global Research team. He is one of the spearheads of the JLL Cities Research Center, with extensive experience in city-based analyses. A passionate advocate of the role of real estate in driving city success, Jeremy is author of several of JLL’s recent publications, including ‘China60’, ‘Cities Momentum Index’ and ‘Istanbul on the World Stage’. Jeremy is also an international consulting advisor for the Wuhan municipal government.

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