This paper is an attempt to examine the extent to which availability and quality of real estate information is influencing the working of real estate markets in Africa. It delves in the discourse of blockchains as applies to real estate market and makes case for the need to steer streamlined development of housing information systems in real estate markets. It is based on a contracted research project commissioned by the Bank of Tanzania in 2017 to design an information Centre for housing in Tanzania. Through direct interviews and questionnaires, the research reached 316 respondents in nine major cities of Tanzania and total of 15 institutions in three selected countries of Kenya, South Africa and Singapore.

The study revealed a host of problems. These included low levels of awareness of the processes and procedures in real estate transactions by majority of the respondents (65%), disjointed information process flows in government land administration sectors, information retrieval problems, slow and delayed decision-making process in land and housing ownership transfer documentation, over-reliance of manual filing system, unreliable housing prices and rents in the press, social media and online platforms, unregulated estate agency and limited role of local government units in recording and storing real estate information. Information on options towards housing finance was also limited and only 20% of those interviewed perceived housing as an asset that could be used to create wealth.

The paper recommends need for comprehensive and integrated real estate information system that takes advantage of the growing information technologies, changing business and investment environments.