Buying real estate in Cameroon?

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Buying a property in Douala: a complete guide

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property investment Douala

Yes, the analysis of Douala's property market is included in our pack

Thinking of buying a property in Douala? You're not alone!

Many people are intrigued by Douala's African charm and dream of owning a modern apartment or a comfortable villa in this city.

Is it financially viable, though? Are property prices increasing in Douala? Is it expensive? Is it wiser to buy property in Bonapriso or Akwa? What are the property taxes? What rental yields should I expect?

We know the answers.

At TheAfricanvestor, we know this market like the back of our hand. As a matter of fact, we've organized all our findings in a pack. Get it now.

In the lines below, we'll share useful information and some practical tips.

How's the real estate market in Douala?

How is the property market performing? Let's rely on data and figures to find out.

Property types

In Douala, you can find various types of properties for sale, including apartments, houses, commercial spaces, and vacant land.

Apartments offer compact living spaces within buildings and often come with shared amenities. Houses provide more space and privacy, ranging from cozy homes to larger family residences.

Commercial spaces are suitable for businesses and shops, while vacant land gives opportunities for building your own customized property.

Each type of property caters to different preferences and needs, giving buyers a range of options to choose from in Douala's real estate market.

What's better: buy or rent?

(In case you want it for yourself, not for rental purposes)

Whether you've already made Douala your home or are contemplating it for the future, you might be wondering about the advantages of buying a property versus renting in this Cameroonian city.

Without a doubt, you should buy if you want to acquire equity and have more control over your living space.

Actually, decisions become clearer with the property price-to-rent ratio in mind. It's like a measure of how much rental income you'll need to afford the property at its current value.

According to Numbeo, the property price-to-rent ratio in Douala is around 10.04, which is one of the lowest in the world.

It means that, on average, you would only need 10 years of rental payments to actually purchase a property. Buying is clearly an attractive option.

Property prices in Douala

On average, according to the last data from National Institute of Statistics (INS), buying a property in Douala will cost you around $1,940 per square meter.

Obviously, there is a huge spread. An apartment in Bonanjo may have a different price per square meter than a house in Bonapriso. We actually give you a more detailed breakdown in our pack for buying property in Douala and in Cameroon.

To put things in perspective, it is 10 times less than the prices in the center of New York.

Furthermore, housing prices in Douala are considerably cheaper (-22%) than in Lagos (Nigeria).

The most expensive neighbourhoods in Douala are probably Bonanjo, Bonamoussadi and Deido, while the cheapest ones are likely New Deido, Akwa and Bonaberi.

Douala Property Price per Square Meter


First and foremost, we have to acknowledge that Cameroon is, today, not a stable country. The last Fragile State Index that has been reported for this place is 96.

Keep this in view when pondering the viability of buying a property in in Douala.

That will continue to be true for more years to come since Cameroon's economy is expected to soar by 20.2% in the coming 5 years, resulting in an average GDP growth rate of 4%.

If you want to invest in real estate in Douala it's a good thing because individuals are becoming wealthier, leading to a probable rise in housing prices.

Also, in Cameroon, the average GDP per capita has changed by 0.0% over the last 5 years. The growth, although minimal, is still present.

According to this data point, property prices in Douala might go higher in 2024 and also later on.

Looking for more updated data? We've done a big-picture study to find out if it's a good idea to purchase property in Cameroon right now.

Buying property in Douala

Buying real estate in Douala can be challenging, as obtaining reliable and up-to-date information is often the most difficult part of the process. That's why we have created the pack to buy property in Douala and in Cameroon.

Buying process

In our pack, we've explained the entire buying process in detail. We've provided clear information about prices and yields based on the area, guidance on negotiating the price, and options for securing a mortgage.

Now, we're offering you a simpler version, step-by-step, to make it easier for you to grasp.

This is the step-by-step process to purchase a property in Douala:

  1. Research the Douala property market and select a property.
  2. Engage a notary to draft the "Acte de Vente" (sales agreement).
  3. Sign a "Promesse de Vente" (promise of sale) and pay a deposit.
  4. Conduct a "Recherche des Titres" (title search) to verify property ownership.
  5. Obtain "Certificat d'Urbanisme" (planning certificate) and "Certificat de Non-Expropriation" (non-expropriation certificate).
  6. Finalize the sales agreement with the notary, signed by both parties.
  7. Pay the remaining balance to the seller through a bank transfer.
  8. The notary registers the property transfer at the "Conservation Foncière" (land registry).
  9. Pay "Droit de Timbre" (stamp duty) and "Impôt sur le Revenu Locatif" (rental income tax).
  10. Obtain the "Titre Foncier" (land title) from the land registry.
  11. Update property ownership at the "Centre des Impôts" (tax office).
  12. Congratulations! The property in Douala is officially yours.

Also, if you're not from the country, you might want to check our article on how to buy property as a foreigner in Cameroon.

Make a profitable investment in Douala

Better information leads to better decisions. Save time and money. Download our guide.

buying property in Douala

Where to find a property


If you're searching for properties in Douala, these websites can be of assistance:

  • Mamaison - The most comprehensive property classifieds website in the country.
  • ITradeProperty - ITradeProperty is a platform for buying, selling, and renting properties in Cameroon. It offers a wide range of real estate listings from owners and agents.
  • Expat - This website provides a comprehensive listing of properties for sale in Cameroon, including houses, apartments, and land.

Also, know that we have included contacts of real estate agencies, property lawyers, moving companies, expats communities and more in our pack for buying property in Cameroon.

Which properties for which budget?

As mentioned before, the average price per sqm in Douala is $1,940. The cost of a one-bedroom property (60 sqm) is about $116,000, and a two-bedroom (85 sqm) would be around $165,000.

Obviously, property prices will change based on both the property itself and its location.

Prices tend to be higher in the top areas of Douala. A residence in Bonamoussadi might cost around $470,000, and a house in Bonapriso could be about $340,000.

Some spots will be friendlier to your wallet. You have the option to find an apartment in Akwa for $60,000 or an apartment in Bonabéri that's only $50,000.

Find a more detailed price list in our full pack for buying property in Cameroon.

Common mistakes

Here are the main pitfalls specific to buying a property in Douala, Cameroon:

  • Ambiguous land tenure system, with customary and formal ownership leading to disputes.
  • High prevalence of land grabbing and fraudulent property titles.
  • Unregulated informal settlements with unclear property rights.
  • Challenges in verifying property ownership due to limited digital records.
  • Potential issues with encroachments from neighboring properties.
  • Exposure to currency fluctuations and economic instability affecting property values.
  • Limited availability of mortgage options and high-interest rates.
  • Risk of property damage or destruction from heavy rainfall and flooding.

We don't want this to happen to you, so we have included a full checklist for your property investment in our pack of documents. Avoid these mistakes and save a lot of money.

real estate Cameroon

Everything you need to know is included in our Cameroon Property Pack

Living in Douala

Living in Douala is a vibrant experience, offering a warm and friendly atmosphere with affordable property prices.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Douala is generally higher than in other cities in Cameroon, due to the city's large population and its status as an important business and industrial hub. However, it can still be considered affordable compared to many other major cities in the world.

Here are some examples to better understand the cost of living in Douala, Cameroon:

  • Local Cameroonian beer (Mützig or Castel): $2 for a 0.65L bottle at a bar in Bonanjo neighborhood.
  • Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the Akwa area: $500/month.
  • Ndolé (Cameroonian spinach stew) dinner for two at a local eatery in Bépanda: $35.
  • 1.5 liters of bottled water (Source Djoum) at a supermarket: $0.50.
  • Electricity bill for an 85m² apartment using ENEO (National Electricity Company): $70/month.
  • Monthly membership at Fitness Club Douala: $40.
  • Ticket to a movie at Douala Bercy cinema: $6.
  • Local banana and peanut snack (Koki) from a street vendor: $1.


We like to show information in an easy-to-understand way. So, we made a summary table that lists the different neighborhoods in Douala. For yields, prices and rents, check our property pack.

Neighborhood Description Strengths Weaknesses


Akwa is the bustling city center with a mix of commercial and residential properties, offering a wide range of shops, restaurants, and businesses, making it the heart of economic activities in Douala.

Business hub, diverse dining options, central location.

Congested traffic, high competition for space.


Bonanjo is a historic district with colonial-era buildings, government offices, and cultural institutions, adding to its charm and significance.

Historical landmarks, government offices, cultural institutions.

Limited parking, older infrastructure.


Bonapriso is an affluent neighborhood with upscale residences, international schools, and shopping centers, attracting expats and high-income residents.

High-end living, international schools, shopping options.

Expensive, traffic congestion during peak hours.


Bali is a coastal area with beautiful beaches, fishing communities, and seafood markets, offering a relaxed coastal living experience.

Beaches, seafood markets, coastal lifestyle.

Limited public transport, fewer commercial amenities.


Deido is a vibrant and densely populated neighborhood with a mix of residential and commercial activities, known for its energetic markets and lively atmosphere.

Lively markets, energetic atmosphere, diverse businesses.

Crowded streets, noise pollution.


Makepe is an up-and-coming area with a growing number of modern residential developments, offering affordable housing options and easy access to other parts of the city.

Affordable housing, developing infrastructure, good connectivity.

Less established amenities, ongoing construction.


Logpom is a residential neighborhood with a mix of housing types, providing a quieter living environment while still close to essential services and entertainment venues.

Quiet living, proximity to services and entertainment.

Less vibrant nightlife, limited green spaces.


Bassa is a suburban area with a blend of residential and industrial zones, offering a variety of housing options and employment opportunities in nearby factories and warehouses.

Various housing options, industrial employment opportunities.

Traffic during rush hours, industrial pollution.

Life in Douala

Douala is the largest city and economic hub in Cameroon. It is home to many industries, including oil refining, transport, finance, retail, and manufacturing, making it a major contributor to the country's economy.

What expats usually like the most in Douala is the city's vibrant nightlife and the variety of international cuisines available. They also enjoy the city's beautiful beaches and the friendly locals.

Access to healthcare in Douala is limited due to a lack of resources and infrastructure.

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invest real estate in Douala

Renting out in Douala

This section is for you if you're interested in purchasing property not for personal residence, but rather for the purpose of renting it out to generate rental income.



Tenant Profiles in Douala

If you decide to buy and rent out to long-term tenants, you should target students, expats, and young professionals who are looking for a convenient, affordable place to live in Douala. Additionally, you should also consider targeting business travelers and tourists who are looking for short-term rentals.

Here is a little summary table we've made for you.

Property type and area Profiles of potential tenants What they are looking for Expected monthly rent in $

Apartment in Akwa

Professionals, expats

Central location, business amenities

$500 - $1000

House in Bonapriso

Families, expats

Residential area, spacious living

$1000 - $2500

Studio in Douala 2

Students, young professionals

Close to universities, affordable

$200 - $400

Apartment in Bonanjo

Business travelers, expats

Commercial district, modern amenities

$600 - $1200

Condo in Bali

Retirees, expats

Quiet area, beach proximity

$400 - $800

Apartment in Bessengue

Local residents, families

Community atmosphere, affordable

$150 - $300

House in Bonamoussadi

Families, expats

Residential area, garden space

$800 - $1500

Rental yields

These days, Douala presents attractive opportunities in terms of rental yields. In fact, you can easily achieve yields above 9% due to the relatively low cost of housing compared to other major cities in Cameroon.

In Douala, rental yields tend to be highest for properties located in the city center, near amenities such as restaurants, schools, and public transportation. This is because these locations tend to have high demand from tenants, and the convenience of the location often justifies higher rental prices.

For further explanation and a more detailed breakdown, you can check the reports and analyses we have made.


You could also decide to rent short-term to business travelers, expats, and tourists visiting Douala. Additionally, students attending universities in Douala may also be interested in short-term rentals.

If you decide to go with that option, look for properties in Bonapriso, Bonanjo, and Deido, as these areas offer the most rental opportunities and are close to amenities like shopping centers, restaurants, and public transportation.

Currently, there are approximately 1,955 active Airbnb listings in Douala, reflecting a highly dynamic and bustling short-term rental market. The average daily rate is at $45.

You have the opportunity to generate some additional income stream then. According to online testimonials and analytics platform like AirDNA, Guesty and Inside Airbnb, people who offer short-term rentals in Douala can make around $300 per month. Also, the average occupancy rate is estimated at 26%.

Is it worth buying real estate in Douala then?

Certainly, buying a property in Douala can indeed be a savvy move, but it's not a one-size-fits-all decision. If you're looking for a place to call home for the long haul, Douala presents an enticing opportunity. The property price-to-rent ratio, sitting at approximately 10.04, suggests that you can transition from renting to owning relatively quickly. Plus, property prices in Douala are significantly lower than in many global cities, making it a financially appealing prospect for long-term residents.

However, it's essential to be cautious. The real estate market in Douala is not without its complexities, including land tenure issues and the risk of fraudulent property titles. For those seeking quick returns or short-term rental income, Douala might not be the ideal destination, as the market is primarily geared toward long-term tenancy. Additionally, foreign buyers should navigate ownership restrictions and ensure access to reliable, up-to-date information.

So, while Douala holds great promise, it's essential to conduct thorough research, consider your goals, and weigh the potential challenges before diving into the property market.

Make sure you understand the real estate market in Douala

Don't rush into buying the wrong property in Cameroon. Sit, relax and read our guide to avoid costly mistakes and make the best investment possible.

real estate market Douala

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and does not imply endorsement or advice. While we strive for accuracy, we do not guarantee the completeness or reliability of the information, including text, images, links, or other elements in this material. Following the content and analyses presented here does not assure specific outcomes. For guidance tailored to your individual circumstances, it is recommended to consult with a professional, such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor.