Africa and Asia lead global urbanisation

Africa and Asia are undergoing urbanisation at a faster rate than any other region. What impact does that have upon housing?

Forecasts from the United Nations predict that the two continents will become 56 and 64 per cent urban, respectively, by 2050. This rapid population growth has led to physical growth of urban areas, which, in turn, has driven demand for affordable, yet high-quality housing, commercial and industrial space, as well as improved infrastructure.

Paul Philipp Hermann, Co-Founder and Managing Director of global real estate portal, Lamudi, comments: “Africa is expected to see a rapid rate of urbanization, with a 16 percent increase in its urban population by 2020. In Asia, statistics show that almost 200 million people moved into cities between 2000 and 2010.”

As these emerging markets urbanize, cities are becoming increasingly populated by young, educated workers, which are more affluent, with higher disposable incomes; as they move from rural areas to more developed cities, this population bracket gains purchasing power, resulting in growing pressure on housing, infrastructure and industrial development.

“The growing middle classes in many emerging markets are contributing to this urban shift,” adds Lamudi. “As income rises, more money is available to spend on high-quality services, including luxury housing.”

“With this growth comes expansive opportunities on the continent, with the creation of new jobs, development of improved infrastructure and more affordable housing options,” continues Hermann.

“This is not to say that there won’t be challenges,” he adds.