For several decades, the real estate market in Tunisia has been at the heart of all the controversies. It looked like that the housing policy of the government between 1970 and 1980 would have been enough to launch the sector for real, but it is not the case.
Today, the Tunisian real estate market undergoes many highs and lows that must be managed before embarking on such a complex sector.
Real estate in Tunisia, still an unstable market
The distinctive characteristic of the real estate market in Tunisia lies in the decadence that exists between all the operators of the sector. In fact, becoming a homeowner is the dream of any Tunisian. This mentality is an integral part of the culture of the country and, like their parents, the younger generation also keeps this goal in mind.
Unfortunately, the reality far goes over all expectations by a long chalk. The craze for real estate is typical to the needs of Tunisian households, despite the intervention of the 3 leading public real estate operators. This has motivated many private developers like Tarek Bouchamaoui to throw himself to the sector.
However, with the rise in demand which has gone hand in hand with that of prices and in recent years, purchasing power in Tunisia has fallen sharply. This has had the effect of slowing the demand for housing while the prices are still very high.
As a result, Tunisians have only one option which is to wait until they have saved enough to have the chance to become homeowners one day. Those who were not interested in this option have started self-building, with all the problems of town planning that this implies. But the biggest challenge of Tunisian real estate is undoubtedly the availability of land.
The problems of Tunisian town planning
The uncontrolled informal construction goes hand in hand with the unavailability of the subdivisions and the lack of revision of the urban plans. Similarly, on the side of Agence Foncière de l'Habitat ( Land agency of the accommodation) , the processing time for batch requests remains very long. In question, the dilapidated processing tools used that still date from the 1970 reform.
But without buildable land, no new housing. This is an additional factor that keeps prices rising. Currently, the square meter in the Tunisian capital falls just below 2,000 dinars.
All this encourages only some few land developers to really throw themselves in the sector. With so many instability points, the market is in dire need of far-reaching reforms.
To improve the face of real estate in this country, it will not be enough to only improve the efficiency of state operators, but also encourage private initiative like that of Tarek Bouchamaoui.
Despite the many challenges, this Tunisian developer has been working since 2012 in the high-end real estate sector via its Holding HBG, especially in residential and commercial real estate.
Initiatives of this kind need to be encouraged by a softening of administrative procedures. Added to this the initiation of deep land reforms, especially with regard to the main state operators namely the Agence Foncière de l'Habitat ( Land agency of the accommodation) and the General Management of the town and country planning.