As Central and Eastern Europe become increasingly popular for South Africa’s property sector due to subdued growth potential and earnings locally, should these funds not be investing closer to home?
This is the view of Kfir Rusin, the host of the most significant annual gathering of capital investors in African real estate, the 10 th annual Africa Property Investment (API) Summit (https://www.APISummit.co.za/) taking place on October 2 & 3 in Johannesburg, whose stakeholders have been more active in the first half 2019 than in the previous 24 months.
“In the first two quarters of 2019, we’ve tracked ten significant transactions in excess of more than a half a billion dollars across multiple jurisdictions and sectors by API Summit stakeholders,” says Rusin.
The growth and opportunity displayed by a diverse spread of International funds, DFIs, Banks, PE firms, institutional investors and others is evidence that despite apparent indifference to African opportunities in SA boardrooms, the continent’s real estate sector has evolved, and become increasingly more liquid and provides value in key nodes and sectors.
Some of the most high-profile deals include well known listed funds and global investors including Growthpoint Investec African Properties Investment Fund (GIAPF); Grit Real Estate Income Group; WeWork, Centum Real Estate, Nedbank; Standard Bank, the IFC and the UK’s CDC.
For investors and developers looking for data and partners experienced in African development or looking to sell prime assets, these are the men and women responsible for structuring and executing these mega deals who will be at this year’s conference, confirmed Rusin. These include GIAPF’s Managing Director Thomas Reilly; Grit’s CEO Bronwyn Corbett; multiple senior investment officers from the IFC; Standard Bank’s Head of Africa real estate, Niyi Adeleye, the CDC’s Illaria Benucci, Centum’s RE MD Samuel Kariuki and many more in attendance.
“The market has moved forward in the past six months, and we’re thrilled that so many major dealmakers will be at the API Summit to transact and share their experiences with our delegates,” he says.
These high value transactions, while not a repudiation of the South African listed sector’s muted view of the African opportunity, do provide a compelling narrative that the continent’s property markets are investable, but require nuance and insights. It’s not simply a copy and paste what’s worked here (SA) will work elsewhere says Rusin.
According to noted real estate analyst Craig Smith of Anchor Stockbrokers, Africa’s top markets are “definitely a more attractive entry point than 18-24 […]