Global property investment has occurred throughout history with investors routinely attracted to new markets including those in Africa. Across selected countries in Africa, the contribution of investible properties to Gross Domestic Product has averaged between 18% and 21% from 2005 to 2010. Property market performance indicators differ by country within the African continent. This paper employs a number of market indicators from two key credible sources – the World Bank data source for Doing Business and Global Property Guide – to comparatively analyze the property market performance in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Namibia and Rwanda. The study areas have been carefully selected in line with the conference venue for the African Real Estate Society for the period 2008 to 2013. This paper shows how these countries have since 2004 substantially streamlined procedures to reduce property registration procedures. Specifically, Ghana is creating a unified land administration system through the establishment of a One-stop office model within the Lands Commission in line with the model in Rwanda. The time required to transfer property in Rwanda is has been reduced from 371 days in 2004 to 25 days in 2012. Kenya is one of the best four countries out of 135 countries studied to have made it easier to deal with construction permits in the property market.

Spectacular gross rental yields prevail across selected countries in the study. Comparable yields ranging between 6% and 9% are analyzed for Ghana and Nigeria whilst Namibia and South Africa residential property markets provide higher yields of between 7.5% and 9% for former, and a wider range of 5% to 13% for South Africa, generally depending on the city. This paper seeks to provide a framework for the development of a Property Market Guide for the African Continent.