27 November 2012

Mozambique: Government Calls for Housing for Middle Class

Maputo — The Mozambican government has called on building companies to invest in housing aimed at the lower middle class.

The call came from the Minister of Public Works and Housing, Cadmiel Muthemba, during a conference and exhibition, entitled “Mozambuild”, which opened in Maputo on Tuesday.

Muthemba stressed that the Mozambican population is overwhelmingly young, and that young people face serious problems in buying or renting their first home.

“Young people face a major problem in the shortage of housing”, he said.

“Many young people want to leave their parents’ house to build their own home and family, and the lack of housing is a major obstacle to them. So this area is a great priority for us”.

Muthemba guaranteed that if potential investors were to put their money in housing aimed at the Mozambican lower middle class, the returns would be immediate, since many people would be able to pay for housing built for this group.

“It’s natural that anyone who invests should be concerned about the market and returns on his investment, but I can assure you that anyone who builds for the lower middle class will be surprised at the scale of the demand, and the capacity that exists”, he claimed.

Muthemba stressed that the growing need for infrastructures is driving the Mozambican building industry, and turning this market into an opportunity for building companies.

“I invite you to see that Mozambique is an opportunity for investment”, he said. “Often you hear more about hydrocarbons and coal, but the building industry, to build roads to transport these resources, and to build houses where the people who work on these projects can live, is essential”.

The real estate sector in Mozambique has been growing rapidly in recent years. New tower blocks and condominiums are springing up in Maputo and other cities – but most of them are aimed at the rich, at what sociologists might call the upper middle class. The prices charged, either for purchasing or for renting, are prohibitive for most Mozambicans.

Building companies from Mozambique, South Africa, Portugal, Germany, Britain and Italy re attending the conference. 17 of these companies are exhibiting building materials and construction technologies.

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