NAIROBI – The 6th annual East Africa Property Investment (EAPI) Summit will facilitate a new of era of investment and development driven by market affordability, Kfir Rusin, the host, has said.
Taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel from April 10 to 11 2019, the EAPI Summit will provide a transaction focused and knowledge sharing environment for 500 senior delegates from more than 20 countries as they unpack the theme: Driving Affordability and Opportunity through the Property Value Chain.
According to Rusin, the 2019 theme is an extension of the current market cycle, macroeconomic environment and 12 months of learning and deliberations around creating transaction opportunities in Affordable Housing and the broader real estate sector.
“The reality is that the cost of real estate transactions remains too high in East Africa and this is inhibiting the growth of the sector. To restore real estate as a significant driver of sustainable growth, we have to reduce the input costs of building and deepen the available sources of funding; especially as we build the foundation for more affordable housing in Kenya and East Africa.”
Taking its lead from President Kenyatta’s affordable housing agenda; EAPI’s scope is significant and sector wide. However, Rusin points to the fact that the increasing participation of leading public and private sector institutions and bodies at #EAPI2019 is evidence that confidence is returning to the market following two years of subdued performance.
In recognition of improving market sentiment, EAPI 2019 will focus on achieving six key objectives which relate to the summit’s affordability and investment agenda and thematic focus areas. These include: design and construction; land and urban planning; finance and capital; regulatory framework and infrastructure.
As Rusin explains, “As an outcome based investment and transaction focussed conference; EAPI’s objectives are aligned to our theme and focus areas, and next year our primary objectives are to reduce the cost of construction, lower the cost of capital, unlock land for real estate development, create an enabling framework and environment for large scale property development and building the investment case for alternative asset classes and affordable housing.”
While affordable housing, and more importantly the funding and financing of these projects has generated a lot of interest and workshops in the East Africa’s real estate and business market; the reality for Rusin is that EAPI’s international and regional investors and developers are results orientated and want opportunities to make deals and meet the decision makers.
“EAPI is a networking and business transaction platform, which attracts stakeholders from deep pools of capital and policy, who can interact with public sector policymakers and regulatory bodies. East Africa and Uganda has high growth potential and offers an attractive environment to do business, and we will see many new transactions announced, networking and deal making taking place next year across all sectors.”
The emphasis on bringing the public and private sector together is a main focus for EAPI and is one of the key differentials of the summit, as Rusin explains. “The private sector is key to growth, but at this juncture, it’s critical that the public sector, industry bodies and the development finance institutions come together and drive transactions in the market and make the sector more attractive to local and international money.”
“From this perspective, we have partnered with the Kenya Property Developers Association, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Africa Union for Housing Finance, Kenya Green Building Society, Town and County Planners Associations of Kenya and the Architectural Association of Kenya as well as confirming participation from the International Finance Corporation. We have a number of new private and public sector companies and bodies who have indicated their sponsorship and attendance, which will be announced in 2019.”
And while real estate market has been relatively quiet in Africa over the 12-18 months, as a result of macroeconomic pressures, oversupply and lack of effective product tailoring, Rusin argues that this cooling down period has allowed for market recalibration and more attractive pricing.
“In our global environment, capital is agnostic, and while Africa and Uganda’s property sector have been recalibrating, several investors, private and institutional are of the view that certain markets and asset classes provide attractive and stable yields. Next year is shaping up to be a defining year for Kenya’s real estate market, and we believe that EAPI will provide the transaction fulcrum for investors and developers across the real estate ecosystem,” said Rusin.