This year has seen a strong upward trend in the number of property developments completed and the amount of capital investment into real estate in Africa. Over US$500 million of new real estate funds have been listed on African stock exchanges over the last 12 months, in addition to these listings, currently, there are more than double the amount of projects in development phases compared to 24 months ago.

Notable South African property companies and businesses have embarked on aggressive Pan-African strategies – either to enter the market for the first time or to expand on their current business. These companies are exploring the many ways to meet the growing consumer demands of Sub -Saharan Africa.

Director of Delta International Paul David Simpson says one should never underestimate the scale of opportunities in real estate investments on the continent “Using typical European or South African benchmarks can potentially serve to underplay the extent and pace of growth taking place in the sector” says Simpson.

However, challenges in the industry still remain – the scarcity of supporting infrastructure, the challenging legal environment, and the lack of debt funding are causes for concern.

“The greatest challenges for property investors would be access to cost effective funding, and the rapid changes in the regulatory environments in Sub- Saharan Africa”, according to Gerhard Zeelie, Head: Residential & Rest of African Real estate finance for Standard Bank.

Simpson and Zeelie will be among the speakers lined-up for the 5th Annual Africa Property Investment (API) Summit. The event takes place on 13 -14 October at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. Top tier investors, developers and property professionals will attend the largest forum of its kind on the continent. Investment structures, financing, the demand for modern retail formats and the obstacles to delivering projects, are some of the key topics to be discussed at this year’s summit.

“This year, the agenda focuses on topical issues relevant to African real estate markets and these are meant to help and inform those wishing to invest in Africa.

“In addition to the usual networking sessions, we have introduced an Africa Speed Networking Session to ensure delegates meet new people and make new connections,” says API Conference Coordinator, Raeesa Rajah.

Rajah adds that they believe collaboration is the key driver behind real estate projects on the continent.