The Business Year

Gonçalo Marques

MOZAMBIQUE - Real Estate & Construction

The Real Story

General Manager, Pam Golding Mozambique

Bio

Gonçalo Marques was born in 1985 in Portugal. He worked as a HR Manager for a hospitality group for three years before training as a lawyer and working at Sonia Oliveira & Associados for two years in Portugal. When he came to Mozambique he began work as a Senior Legal Consultant at Ferreira Rocha & Associados for almost three years before becoming the General Manager of Pam Golding Mozambique.

How has the large influx of expatriates and foreign companies affected the local real-estate market? In Maputo, it is difficult to find high-end properties. This lack of properties increases market […]

How has the large influx of expatriates and foreign companies affected the local real-estate market?

In Maputo, it is difficult to find high-end properties. This lack of properties increases market prices, which are reaching a level that has never been seen before. Apartments are selling for up to four-times their market value. Until the market reaches a state of equilibrium, we won’t see prices stabilize. New developments are being built; however, demand continues to exceed supply. The positive side of this increased demand for high-end property is that construction quality is improving and developments are beginning to be in line with international quality standards.

Are these new developments catering only to expatriates or is affordable housing for locals being built as well?

Most of the developments are destined for expatriates and wealthy Mozambicans. Regarding affordable accommodation, some projects are already about to start, but as long as there is the problem with the interest rate on loans, it will be very difficult for people to access financing. There have been discussions to change the laws regarding loans, mortgages, and property acquisition. Interest rates are expected to fall to the single digits by the end of 2013. Until then, access to credit is limited to people who have the available cash.

How would you compare the residential and commercial real estate sectors?

The residential sector is booming, although compared to the commercial sector it is still very slow. New commercial real estate developments in Maputo are often sold out before construction even finishes. There has also been an increased demand for commercial real estate in the provinces, although there tends to be a higher demand for industrial property there, such as warehouses, factories, and agricultural projects.

How have government initiatives to ease property acquisition by foreigners impacted your company?

When Mozambique gained independence, many of the houses the Portuguese left were turned into state-owned houses. Those houses can never be sold to anyone who is not Mozambican. Other properties are now available to foreigners to buy. Foreigners can also be granted rights to develop land and build on it subject to the condition that they start building within a strict time frame after having acquired the rights. The Investment Promotion Centre (CPI) also has an incentive that allows foreigners to import a boat, a plane, or a car duty free into the country. It is excellent that Mozambique has opened the door to foreign buyers as this has led to large amounts of investment coming into the country.

What differentiates Pam Golding from other real estate companies in Mozambique?

The market here is very informal, but we are a global brand. Pam Golding has its own procedures and its own policies. Pam Golding is a legitimate company that foreigners, educated people, and wealthy Mozambicans recognize. We have a global presence, and international clients who look for property in Mozambique usually come to Pam Golding through our website. We have international partnerships in place to add to our own strong network, and this benefits us immensely. These partnerships include other real estate companies, investment funds, advisory firms, as well as wealth management companies. We are actively working to ensure that the market becomes more formalized.

What potential is there for other companies to enter the Mozambican real estate sector?

We are seeing numerous developers coming into the real estate market. This is mainly in Maputo, Tete, and Nacala. These developers are coming in both from abroad as well as from within Mozambique itself.

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