Housing Consumption and Urbanization

This paper analyses the trade-offs households make in allocating their budgets to housing and other amenities


Rapid urbanization in Sub-Saharan Africa places immense pressure on urban services to meet the needs of the burgeoning urban population. Although several country- or city-level reports offer insight into the housing challenges of specific places, little is known about regional patterns affecting housing markets. This lack of clear knowledge on the relative importance of the factors influencing households’ housing demand in countries in Sub-Saharan Africa inhibits policy makers, researchers, the private sector, and development partners from making informed decisions when addressing affordable housing provision and the rapid increase in and growth of informal settlements.

To shed light on the contours of housing patterns and impediments impacting the region’s households, this paper provides a systematic review of housing conditions in Sub-Saharan Africa. By drilling down into the housing issues in the region from the perspective of the household, the paper analyses the trade-offs households make in allocating their budgets over time to housing and other amenities and provides a first approximation at understanding the differences in households’ expenditure patterns and housing decisions across countries.


Lozano-Gracia, Nancy; Young, Cheryl. 2014. Housing Consumption and Urbanization. Policy Research Working Paper;No. 7112. World Bank Group, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/20653 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

Housing Consumption and Urbanization

Published 1 November 2014