Housing & Real Estate

Access to Housing: African Century supports the development of solutions to one of the most acute challenges facing the continent. In that regard, we have developed a comprehensive business model combining tailored funding, innovative construction technology, clean and environmental friendly solutions and project management expertise to deliver modern, functional and yet affordable housing units tailored to the emerging African middle class.

HOUSING MARKET

Due to rapid population growth, fast urbanization and despite construction of some new housing units over the last decade, demand for residential real estate far exceeds supply, thus creating a significant shortfall particularly for the middle class and low income people in Africa.

In fact, over the last decade or so, housing developments in Africa have mostly targeted the high and upper middle class market segments. The supply of affordable housing for the middle class and low income segment has remained limited.

Improving political and macro-economic conditions and several reforms undertaken by some countries are opening up attractive market opportunities for housing and real estate ventures. The construction of hundreds of thousands of new housing units per year is needed to bridge the existing gap which continues to increase.

TARGET SEGMENT

As a response to pent-up demand for affordable housing and in partnership housing developers, African Century through its real estate subsidiary African Century Real Estate Solutions (ACRES) seeks to develop housing projects to address the pressing needs of middle class and low income people.

The emerging middle class is the “Sweet Spot” of the real estate market in Africa and African Century’s aim is to deliver housing units specifically tailored to its needs.

BOTTLENECK

The lack of reliable and efficient legal and regulatory regime preserving private property, ensuring speedy and fair foreclosures and the lack of long term mortgage funding have impeded the development of a robust housing sector.

BUSINESS MODEL

To address the key issues of affordability and quality, African Century has developed for its housing business model encompassing all phases of the project cycle and both side of the market (supply & demand) from development & construction to building technology and to ensuring that long term mortgage finance is available for off take of housing units.

African Century’s business model allows us to supply the market with high quality, modern, functional and yet affordable housing units that can meet the needs and requirements of the target market.

To address the funding issue, African Century through its partners has developed a mechanism to facilitate the availability of long term mortgages, ensuring that the most important impediment to a vibrant housing market is removed and off take of housing units coming to the market is prompt and completion of our projects is timely.

MASTER-PLANNED PROJECTS

The projects African Century underwrites are fully serviced estate of affordable housing units in master-planned communities including kindergarten, health centers, retail space and common social and sport infrastructure. The price range is USD 30,000-USD 125,000 with built-in flexibility to adjust the mix of housing types (condo, townhouses, semi-detached and detached) to match market demand and changes. Our projects will establish a new model for neighborhood development and quality affordable housing in Africa with an emphasis on community living, careful attention paid to basic public services requirements such as sanitation and street lights, and strong community interaction.

All architectural plans and engineering specifications will be developed to ensure a sufficient variety of homes and plot orientations for aesthetics, and to maximize construction efficiency by avoiding unique home designs. Construction standards derived from international building codes will be enforced.

Our projects will be covenant-controlled communities, with rules to keep clean exterior areas and to ensure quality of any structural renovations.

TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

African Century has spent a lot of time researching the best building technology that will ensure high construction standards, structural integrity, compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements and efficiency in an area that is critical for meeting the affordability objective of its housing projects.

As a result, we have selected a building technology that’s a simple and effective method with limited demands for heavy equipment and highly skilled labor.

Engineering and architecture standards will be developed around 4 key elements:

(i)     Structural integrity,

(ii)    Livability and functionality,

(iii)   Aesthetic appeal, and

(iv)   Construction efficiency, including management of labor and the supply chain for materials.

ECO_FRIENDLY SOLUTIONS

African Century’s vision embraces sustainable principles and an integrated design approach. Our projects use green construction materials to improve structural integrity, energy efficiency and indoor air quality. Furthermore, the projects include design concepts to reduce energy consumption, the environment footprint and promote sustainability and efficiency in order to reduce utility bills, savings on maintenance costs and improve quality of living.

Computer modeling is being used to optimize design of electrical and heating/cooling systems. Some of these eco-friendly solutions include:

(i)     High efficiency lighting (CFL or LED bulbs);

(ii)   Energy efficient heat/cooling system;

(iii)  Solar street lighting;

(iv)  Passive solar design and use of natural lighting;

(v)    Retain as much as possible existing landscaping and natural features

African Century’s approach is meant to offer a range of social and economic benefits to the housing development which will ultimately translate into higher property value.