This text was Extracted from by Knight Frank’s “Africa Report 2015: Real Estate Markets in a Continent of Growth and Opportunity.
The downtown area of Maputo is increasingly viewed as its best office location, and has grown in importance as new buildings have been constructed. If and when the development of the Maputo Waterfront (FACIM) site is completed, this will consolidate the downtown as Maputo’s Central Business District. Demand for office space in Maputo principally derives from the banking, telecoms, professional and diplomatic/aid sectors, although recent oil and gas discoveries have boosted demand from the energy sector. Prime office rents have risen strongly over the last two years, from US$30 per sq. m per month to US$37.50 per sq. m per month.
Mozambique’s retail sector has considerable growth potential. Although the city has existing high street retail, standalone units, shopping centers and retail parks, there is room for increased supply and improved quality in all subsectors. There are established shopping centers in mixed-use developments, including Polana Shopping Centre and Maputo Shopping Centre, albeit these are looking tired. Newer centers such as Marés Shopping Centre on Avenida Marginal provide well-designed product offering a good balance of retail space and residential accommodation. The high street sector has seen the entrance of a number of Portuguese brands, including the high-end tableware retailer Vista Alegre. Retail rents are in the order of US$30-40 per sq. m per month, with good growth potential.
The Mozambican government plans to invest heavily in the country’s industrial infrastructure, to support the growth of the natural resources, agriculture and logistics sectors. There are plans to build large industrial hubs, one of which will be located in Moamba, close to the South African border, which it is hoped will enhance the flow of goods across the border and to and from the port of Maputo. Many of the traditional industrial areas of Maputo are in the city center and close to the port, and warehouses are able to command relatively high rents, of around US$10 per sq. m per month, reflecting both their central locations and the fact that they are often used as offices.
The residential market is buoyant, boosted by strong demand for housing, high levels of investment and the use of residential properties as offices by corporate occupiers. Residential developers from countries including South Africa, Turkey and Portugal have been active in the low, middle and high value segments, with the majority of prime property in Maputo being developed in Sommerschield and along Avenida Marginal. Mid-income housing is being developed elsewhere in Maputo and in suburbs such as Matola and Zimpeto. Villas at the top end of the market rent for US$5,500-6,000 per month, but rents are considerably lower on the local mass market, at around 15-25% of prime levels.