Is Tanzania Residential Letting Market Ready for Airbnb?

New innovations are popping out every single day, mostly aiming to simplify our daily life hustles and make a world a better place. Recently, we have witnessed the mushrooming of various online market products that have created a huge impact to users all over the world including Tanzania. Apps such as Airbnb, Uber, Taxify provide easy and quick access to services such as transport services, hotel booking, apartment and the like. These apps not only reduce unnecessary mobility but also saves time.

Dar es Salaam city is a third quickest growing city in Africa after Bamako and Lagos with a yearly population increase of 5.5%. The city’s population increase is estimated to grow by more than 85% by year 2025. Rapid population growth has increased demand for settlement in Dar es Salaam.The 2012 Census results indicate that 52 percent of private households in Dar es Salaam Region lived in rented privately dwellings This implies that majority of Dar es Salaam residents lives in a privately rented house. In the same vein, about 98% of existing houses in Dar es Salaam are built by individual household, with 65% of residential renting are found in the informal settlement (F.Komu).

Majority of landlords in this informal settlement are amateur landlords, most of them converted part of their dwelling into a renting space to get subsistence income and some are those landlords who own extra dwelling(F.Komu). Due to a high demand of private house to rent, house hunting in Dar es Salaam is one of a hectic process, that nobody has a good story about it, only the outliers luckiest people can laugh about it.Worse enough there is limited information on where to locate a desired house and information on prices to houses.

From a recent research conducted by Meltores Professional -Research and Development Company based in Tanzania, house hunters spend average of fourteen days searching for a desired house. In the same manner, landlords took average of twenty one days to get a new customer. According to the study, about 99.5% of house hunters use informal agency popular as Dalali to search for house. Landlords also depend on Dalali to get new customers.

With emerging innovation such as virtual reality and mobile applications, Meltores Professional conducted a research to measure the readiness of the informal tenants to adopt house hunting mobile applications for residential letting. Preliminary findings suggest that Informal housing market in Dar es Salaam is ready to adopt house hunting mobile apps to get over the current system of acquiring a house to rent and customers.

“It will be easy for us to get customers and houses” — Dalali

“It will be easy for tenants to get a house and for us to get customers” — Landlords

“It will give us a wide room to make a decision on the desired house while saving time” -Tenants

Despite, the eagerness to see Airbnb for house acquisition becoming a reality like Uber and Taxify, these key actors had major concerns that developers should take into consideration if they want to capture the market of informal private renters in Dar es Salaam. To get the full report just send email

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