05 Sep

African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit comes to Gauteng in October to focus on continent’s urban opportunities and challenges

The African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit

The award-winning African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit comes to Gauteng in October to gather leading built environment and property professionals, architects, project developers, investors, town planners, and city and municipal managers from all over the continent to focus on “Developing Future African Cities”.
“Over the next 20 years, growth in Africa’s urban population will increase the demand for more infrastructure, including transport, housing, hospitals, schools, retail, industrial and fundamental facilities,” says Benjamin Jones, Event Manager of African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit. He adds: “to meet this ongoing demand, public and private sector stakeholders will need to adapt their strategies to develop and fund projects that will need to meet the specific demands and challenges of African cities.” The summit will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 25-26 October.

JLL, the global financial and professional services firm specialising in commercial real estate services and investment management, is the official content sponsor for the event. Simon Ardonceau (MRICS), JLL’s Head of Strategic Consulting, Sub-Saharan Africa and speaker at the African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit, says: “driven by strong fundamentals such as sustained economic growth, favourable demographics, emergence of a middle class and rapid urbanisation, the real estate sector is bound to grow.”


Visionary city planning

In November last year, the inaugural African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit in Cape Town provided an innovative space for more than 300 sector experts gathered for interactive sessions that focused on key case studies of visionary city planning, investment opportunities in the commercial and residential real estate sectors across the continent as well as the challenges of urbanisation. A key finding of the conference was that Africa’s cities are facing an urban ‘polycrisis’ and that there is a need for a new urban agenda and an opportunity for innovative solutions to address urbanisation challenges.
The summit was voted Africa’s best Confex (half conference, half exhibition) earlier this year by the AAXO ROAR event industry awards.
More key findings that emerged during the first African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit included:

–     African countries need to adopt new development models designed to take
advantage of urbanisation by facilitating structural transformation, creating jobs
and addressing social inequality and poverty, while creating sustainable human
settlements with equal opportunity for all.

  • The future of Africa is at stake and the future of Africa will be more and more linked to how cities are managed and the way they choose to contribute to African unity.
  • Careful, complex, thorough administrative management and pro-poor urban development will turn African cities into world-class cities, not design plans based on fantasy Dubai-esque city makeovers.
  • The City of Cape Town has invested over R22 billion in infrastructure over the last five years and needs to provide an additional 650 000 housing opportunities over the next 20 years.
  • Merely pursuing low-density low-cost housing on the outskirts of the cities is not an option. Innovative thinking must be part of the solutions for urbanisation challenges and partnerships between the public and private sectors play an important role.

Leading African cities that have been invited to showcase their major infrastructure and building projects and opportunities in October at African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit include: Abuja, Nigeria; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Cape Town, South Africa; Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Johannesburg, South Africa; Kampala, Uganda; Kigali, Rwanda; Lagos, Nigeria; Luanda, Angola; Lusaka, Zambia; Maputo, Mozambique; Nairobi, Kenya; Harare, Zimbabwe and Kinshasa, DRC.

Property Buyer Show
During the same week as African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit, the Property Buyer Show also comes to Gauteng from 27-29 October at the Sandton Convention Centre. The Property Buyer Show, which took place for the first time in Cape Town in April this year, is a unique exhibition aimed at first-time residential property buyers or real estate investors. The innovative exhibition layout is designed to walk buyers through the property buying process and meet with Developers, Agents and Financial Service Providers.

The African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit and the Property Buyer Show are organised by the multi award-winning Spintelligent, well known for organising exhibitions and conferences across the continent in the infrastructure, energy, mining, agriculture and education sectors. Longstanding flagship events by Spintelligent include African Utility Week, Future Energy Nigeria (formerly WAPIC), Future Energy East Africa (formerly EAPIC), Agritech Expo Zambia, DRC Mining Week and EduWeek. Spintelligent is part of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.

 

Dates and location:
African Real Estate & Infrastructure Summit: 25-26 October 2017
Property Buyer Show conference: 27 October 2017
Property Buyer Show expo: 28-29 October 2017
Location: Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

Websites: http://www.african-real-estate-summit.com/ & http://www.propertybuyershow.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ARES_Summit & https://twitter.com/propertyshowsa
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8518271

Media contact:
Senior communications manager:  Annemarie Roodbol
Telephone:  +27 21 700 3558
Mobile:  +27 82 562 7844
Email:  annemarie.roodbol@spintelligent.com

29 Aug

Weathering Africa’s commercial real estate storm

real estate

The brilliant thing about working in Africa is the continent’s ability to change – and adapt – almost instantly. While at first glance this is often interpreted as a challenge or a risk, the importance of adopting a “glass-half-full approach has never been more essential than in Africa’s current real estate environment”, says Gerhard Zeelie, head of Africa property finance at Standard Bank.

In Africa, things can change very quickly.

In May last year, for example, Nigeria was in the throes of a US dollar liquidity crisis. Barely 12 months later this is largely resolved. Just as tweaking foreign exchange regulations along with positive market changes improved liquidity in Nigeria, an uptick in the oil and copper prices coupled with market-friendly, transparent forex regimes could, equally as easily, change Luanda or Lusaka’s commercial real estate prospects – overnight. Similarly, large global energy investments touted for Mozambique are currently dispelling default-driven negative sentiment as investors again turn positive about the region.

“The variables that threaten risk in Africa are equally what contributes to making the continent such a rich landscape of opportunity – especially in the continent’s real estate sector,” says Zeelie.

Africa’s commercial real estate sector is currently, without doubt, a tenants’ market. Despite a more settled Naira and easing USD liquidity in Nigeria, challenges importing goods – until recently prohibited for foreign currency allocation – is keeping smaller businesses and retailers under pressure, forcing landlords to continue offering tenants discounts, or capped USD-based deals. New malls remain at 50-60% occupancy levels as “tenants shy away from the more expensive USD-based rentals, or remain unsure of whether they will be able to get prohibited, non-essential, stock through ports”, says Zeelie.

Similar concerns follow the office rental environment as businesses adopt a wait-and-see attitude, deferring office moves, upgrades and corporate office expansions.

These kinds of challenges mean that commercial real estate developers are struggling to convert Africa’s resilient consumer demand into competitive rentals. “This is not only constraining income in the sector but also leading to a depreciation in the value of the continent’s real estate stock as, increasingly, space in new developments stands empty or achieves lower rentals than before,” observes Zeelie.

The intensity of the storm in the continent’s commercial real estate sector varies.

In Nairobi, for example, “a better regulatory setting, an easier business environment more generally, and a more diverse economy – with multiple earners of foreign exchange – collectively contribute to a more resilient tenant profile and higher occupancy, even though vacancies exist in certain nodes and sectors”, says Zeelie.

Kenya, or, more correctly, Nairobi’s commercial real estate market, is, however, the exception rather than the rule in Africa.

When projects don’t perform as anticipated, African commercial real estate developments require more patient funding structures which can be achieved through the correct ratio between debt and equity.  “Projects conceived in earlier, more positive, business environments on very different numbers, for example, should be restructured,” says Zeelie. While a restructure will often involve a higher level of equity finance, “the bank should also display some flexibility in its approach”, he adds.

For example, if financiers have a view on how long negative conditions may last in certain markets they may be able to extend the tenors or repayment terms of financing facilities – provided there is not a significant deterioration in the risk. Or, if clients have access to shareholder funds, it might be cheaper to put more hard currency into the structure. There may also be options to convert debt into local currency, provided there is enough liquidity in the market.

“Another solution could be to negotiate upfront payment of the present value of all lease payment with key tenants,” says Zeelie. Over the long term this provides these tenants with predictability – and probably a discount – while injecting much needed capital, now, into commercial real estate financing structures, enabling landlords to manage rentals with smaller clients in the short term.

source from How We Made It In Africa