PURPOSE: This paper aims to evaluate and explain differences in the investment attractiveness between African countries and to identify which factors act as drivers or constraints of the national real estate competitiveness.

DESIGN / METHODS FOLLOWED/ APPROACH: This paper proposes an application and specification of the widely renowned “diamond” framework by Michael Porter. This is based on intensive analysis of both scientific literature as well as market-based information. In this context, the paper illustrates possible input variables for empirical foundation.

FINDINGS: This paper finds that Michael Porter’s “diamond” framework is (with few exceptions that call for adjustment) basically well-suited to study the drivers and constraints of the competitive advantage in real estate for African markets. It reveals that differences between the attractiveness to global investment cash flows mainly arise from disparity in the financing environment, in property rights, in transparency issues and search costs as well as the availability of domestic market strength.

RESEARCH LIMITATIONS / IMPLICATIONS: The sample size and constitution significantly differs within the broad range of underlying literature. Due to the scarce availability of current real estate specific documentation, knowledge from product or also trade markets must be transferred occasionally to the specific analysis of African investment markets, while the equality of conclusions may not be finally resolved.

PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The supposed methodology enables the widespread analysis of African nations with regard to their competitive advantage in real estate. The proposed approach helps practitioners and researchers with identifying the drivers and constraints of competitiveness and investment attractiveness.

ORIGINALITY / VALUE OF WOR: This is the first transnational adaption of the “diamond” evaluation model for competitiveness with regard to African real estate investment markets. This analysis contributes towards a fundamental understanding of national environments and how they impact the real estate related competitive position of the respective country.