On my most recent trip, I surveyed Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital and most populous city in Tanzania. While conducting my survey, I observed that several areas have developed in order to cater to expatriate needs. While overall availability of goods and services is consistent, certain categories are lacking and require purchases to be made on home leave or through travel to nearby international cities, like Nairobi.
The decision to move the Nigerian capital from Lagos to Abuja was made in 1976. However, after many years of planning, development, and construction, Abuja finally replaced Lagos as the political capital in 1991.
Before my trip to Brazil, I heard both positive and negative impressions of the country. Since it was my first time visiting, I was interested to see which kind of experience I’d have. It ended up being a bit of both.
I arrived in Cape Town during Stage 4 load shedding, when state-run energy company Eskom was conducting one of four scheduled two-hour blackouts. In Camps Bay, I passed expatriate quality homes along the water and saw that every home displayed a large security company sticker. I also noticed that, even during a blackout, electric fences were still buzzing.
While South American countries have a wet season, the duration and severity vary. Knowing this and having traveled extensively throughout the continent, my February survey delivered some unique experiences. I encountered urban flooding in both Brazil and Paraguay and in both instances the flooding occurred subsequent to a relatively short period of rainfall. Both times also seemed to be a failure of infrastructure more than anything else.
This February I surveyed Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg, South Africa. After 30+ travel hours from Boston, I arrived in Cape Town eager to decompress in my hotel room. Once there, front desk staff informed me that I could not check in yet because the power was down. They explained that the typical length of a blackout is two hours and this one had started about a minute after my arrival.
1. How has COVID-19 impacted buying and selling real estate in the United States and Canada? Typically, the hope is for a linear path for the homebuying and home selling process. Most of the time, there will be at least slight deviance from the path during the process. Currently, there’s more deviation than is standard, but the real estate market is resilient and somewhat surprisingly resilient in the current times.
During my Abidjan survey this past February, I found Ivorians to be friendly, often greeting me with “Bonjour Monsieur!” Shopping malls are expanding as new brands arrive in the Ivory Coast market, and good security provides safe areas for expatriate shopping.
1. What is the most common question you are facing with home sales/purchases and how are you addressing it? Are things still closing? The resounding answer is ”yes, they are, but…” We’ve seen some declines and many delays year-over-year in home sales and home purchases, but closings are happening and prices remain steady because of the historically tight inventory availability.
I relocated to San Francisco in 2013. As someone who lives here and works in the cost-of-living industry, I can confirm that SF is one of the most costly places in the world. But, I'm also here to tell you that living here is worth the cost. The Bay Area is a truly wonderful place to live. But organizations often have a hard time relocating talent here due to the cost. But even when we do convince people to move, relocations often fail because organizations don't help relocating employees understand the nuances of the Bay Area and find the right housing fit for them.