Tanzania's real estate industry is booming and investment is skyrocketing. Moving just as fast is demand for both commercial and residential properties. No sooner is a 'To Let' sign put up than one reading 'Sold' follows.
The country's government owned National Housing Corporation (NHC) is at the front of this real estate boom.
The Corporation has housing projects across the country and most impressive are the commercial skyscrapers and shopping centres it is mushrooming across the port city of Dar es Salaam.
These prime real estate options are selling like hot cake in winter, most are already leased well before completion.
Four such major projects each having hundreds of rental options include Victoria Palace which is 90 percent 'SOLD.' Mwongozo Housing Estate is 88 percent 'SOLD' and the colossal Morocco Square is 70 percent sold out. Similarly, a quarter of NHC's My Home My Life project is also sold out.
Nonetheless, on the cautious side of the coin, several buildings in Dar es Salaaam's city centre are but ghost buildings as tenants opt for lower rents on the centre outskirts. The trend is expected to continue unless there are major changes in commercial rent for city properties.
The hoped for change may come in the form of a law that is currently under preparation, the Real Estate Regulatory Bill.
The bill proposes an end to advance payment of rent for both commercial and residential properties which until now, landlords demanded an advance payment of six month and even up to a full year. The lump sum proves to be just too high for many would be tenants.
Should the law be passed, then it will be yet another jolt to the already booming real estate industry as more tenants will be able to rent properties that they could not afford otherwise. On the other hand, the government will enjoy increased revenue because under the new law, landlords will be required to remit rental tax.