Buying real estate in Senegal as a foreigner?

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Buying property in Senegal as a foreigner: a full guide

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buying property foreigner Senegal

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

Senegal is a top pick for foreigners who want to invest in real estate. It offers stunning landscapes, a vibrant culture, and welcoming locals.

However, buying property in a foreign country can be complicated, especially with all the laws and regulations involved.

Don't worry! This guide is here to make it easy for foreign buyers to understand how the property market works in Senegal. We'll cover everything you need to know in a straightforward and simple manner.

Also, for a more in-depth analysis, you can check our property pack for Senegal.

Can you purchase and own a property in Senegal as a foreigner?

When it comes to buying real estate in Senegal as a foreigner, there are several important aspects to consider.

Understanding these will help you navigate the process more effectively.

Firstly, foreigners can indeed buy property in Senegal, including land. However, the rights of foreign property owners may differ slightly from those of locals. The primary difference lies in the type of land ownership.

In Senegal, land is classified into two main categories. Titled and untitled land. Titled land has clear ownership rights and is often the preferred choice for foreigners as it provides more security and ease of transfer.

Untitled land, on the other hand, can be more complex to purchase and may involve customary land rights, which can be less straightforward for foreigners to navigate.

There is no specific rule that differentiates the buying process in Senegal based on your country of origin. The process and rights are generally the same for all foreigners.

This means that whether you're from Europe, the Americas, Asia, or any other region, the fundamental rules of property purchase remain consistent.

Residency is not a prerequisite for buying property in Senegal. You can purchase real estate without being a resident.

However, owning property in Senegal does not automatically grant you residency status. If you're considering staying in the country long-term, you will still need to go through the standard immigration and residency procedures.

Regarding visas and permits, buying property in Senegal does not typically require a specific visa or permit. However, if you plan to stay in the country to manage or reside in your property, you will need to adhere to the standard visa and residency regulations that apply to foreigners.

There are no specific government authorizations required for foreigners to buy property in Senegal, beyond the standard legal procedures involved in a property transaction.

In terms of investment minimums, there is no statutory minimum investment required for foreigners buying property in Senegal. The investment will depend on the property market and the type and location of the property you are interested in.

Can you become a resident in Senegal by purchasing and owning a property?

There isn't a specific scheme in Senegal that allows foreigners to gain residency solely through real estate investment.

This means that purchasing property in Senegal does not automatically entitle you to residency status. In some countries, there are programs often referred to as "Golden Visas" or investment-based residency schemes, but Senegal does not currently offer such a program linked directly to real estate investment.

To become a resident in Senegal, you would typically need to follow the standard immigration and residency procedures. These procedures usually involve applying for a residency permit through other means, such as employment, starting a business, or family reunification.

The specific requirements for these residency permits vary, but they generally include providing personal documentation, proof of financial means, a health check, and sometimes a background check.

Since there is no real estate investment scheme for residency, there isn't a minimum investment amount in property that would qualify you for such a status.

The process of buying property and applying for residency in Senegal are separate matters and should be considered independently.

Regarding the number of people who have used such a scheme, it's not applicable in this context as Senegal does not offer a residency-through-real-estate-investment program.

Therefore, statistics on the usage of such a program are not available.

The length and type of residency granted in Senegal depend on the specific type of residency permit you apply for. These can range from temporary residency permits to longer-term arrangements.

Permanent residency might be attainable, but this usually requires living in the country for a certain number of years and fulfilling other specific criteria.

As for citizenship, residency in Senegal, regardless of how it is obtained, can potentially lead to citizenship after a period of continuous and legal residence in the country.

However, the path from residency to citizenship involves its own set of requirements and procedures, including potentially a demonstration of integration into Senegalese society, language proficiency, and adherence to legal and civic norms.

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Market indicators

You can find fresh and updated data in our pack of documents related to the real estate market in Senegal.

If we check the the GDP per capita indicator, it seems that Senegalese people have become 5.8% richer throughout the past 5 years.

Actually, this rise in population wealth has the potential to stimulate the demand for real estate, which may translate into price increases in the future.

Looking at the data reported by Numbeo, we can see that rental properties in Senegal offer gross rental yields between 6.3% and 9.0%.

These strong rental yields not only provide attractive financial returns but also offer a reliable and sustainable investment opportunity for foreign investors.

To know more, you can also read our dedicated article: is it a good time to buy a property in Senegal?

The expat life

The life of an expat in Senegal can be a rewarding and enriching experience. Senegal is a vibrant country with a rich culture and a strong sense of community. Expats in Senegal can expect to be welcomed into the local community with open arms, and to experience a warm and friendly atmosphere.

The Senegalese are known for their hospitality, and expats will quickly make friends and build strong relationships with locals.

Expats in Senegal can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities, including swimming, fishing, and hiking. There are also many opportunities for cultural exploration, including music and art festivals, traditional dance performances, and the vibrant markets.

The cost of living in Senegal is relatively low, and expats can expect to find affordable housing and other amenities. The country is also home to a diverse range of cuisines, from the traditional Senegalese food to French, Italian, and other international dishes.

Senegal is a safe and stable country, and expats can feel secure in their new home. While there are some areas that are best avoided, most of the country is safe and welcoming. Expats in Senegal will find that the locals are friendly and helpful, and that the country is a great place to live and work.

What are the best places to invest in real estate in Senegal?

This table summarizes some of the best places to buy a property in Senegal.

City / Region Population Average Price per sqm (XOF) Strengths
Dakar ≈ 1 million 400,000 - 800,000 National capital, economic center, cultural hub
Saint-Louis ≈ 220,000 300,000 - 600,000 UNESCO World Heritage site, colonial architecture, music festivals
Thiès ≈ 300,000 200,000 - 400,000 Transportation hub, historical significance, vibrant markets
Ziguinchor ≈ 160,000 150,000 - 300,000 Cultural melting pot, gateway to Casamance region, natural beauty
Touba ≈ 450,000 200,000 - 400,000 Holy city, Mouridism center, religious pilgrimage
Thiadiaye ≈ 20,000 100,000 - 200,000 Coastal town, tranquil atmosphere, fishing community
Mbour ≈ 270,000 150,000 - 300,000 Tourist destination, sandy beaches, seafood

Do you need a lawyer to buy real estate in Senegal?

When purchasing a property in Senegal, engaging a local lawyer can be crucial in navigating the legal requirements and ensuring a successful transaction.

One important document they can assist with is the Purchase Agreement (Contrat de Vente), a legally binding contract between the buyer and seller that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale.

The Senegalese lawyer can also help with conducting a Property Title Search (Recherche de Titre Foncier) to verify the property's ownership status and identify any potential legal issues or encumbrances.

Moreover, they can guide you through the process of obtaining necessary permits and approvals, such as approval from the local Land Registry or relevant authorities.

They will ensure that all applicable taxes and fees, such as the Property Transfer Tax and Notary Fees, are paid correctly and in compliance with Senegalese laws and regulations.

What are the risks when purchasing a property in Senegal?

We've got an article dedicated to the risks associated with purchasing property in Senegal.

When buying a property in Senegal, there are some risks that are not common in other countries.

These include the risk of land disputes, which can arise if the seller does not have clear title to the land they are selling; and the risk of fraudulent documents, which can occur if the seller or their representative is not reliable.

Additionally, there is a risk of hidden costs, such as taxes and fees, that may not be initially obvious when making the purchase.

Finally, there is a risk of currency fluctuation, as the Senegalese CFA Franc is not a widely traded currency, meaning its exchange rate can be volatile.

real estate Senegal

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

What are the required documents for a real estate transaction in Senegal?

When buying a property in Senegal, the following documents are needed:

- A valid form of identification: either a passport or a national identity card;

- A proof of residence in Senegal (if applicable);

- The deed of sale, signed by both parties and authenticated by a notary public;

- The certificate of occupancy, issued by the relevant local authority;

- The property registration certificate, issued by the local land registry office;

- The tax clearance certificate, issued by the local tax office;

- The title deed, issued by the Ministry of Justice;

- The mortgage deed, if applicable, issued by the local bank.

We review each of these documents and tell you how to use them in our property pack for Senegal.

What strategies can you employ for successful negotiation with Senegalese people?

When buying a property in Senegal, here is what you can do to improve the negotiation phase:

  1. Engage in warm and friendly conversations, as Senegalese value building personal connections and establishing trust before entering negotiations.
  2. Show respect for Senegalese customs and traditions by demonstrating an understanding and appreciation for their cultural practices, greetings, and local languages.
  3. Emphasize the importance of building consensus and maintaining a harmonious atmosphere during negotiations, as Senegalese value collective decision-making and peaceful resolutions.
  4. Be patient and allow negotiations to progress at a relaxed pace, as Senegalese culture values building relationships over swift outcomes.
  5. Seek assistance from a local intermediary or real estate agent who understands the Senegalese property market and can provide cultural insights during negotiations.

Do banks offer loans to foreigners in Senegal?

Yes, in theory, foreigners can get property loans in Saudi Arabia, subject to certain conditions and eligibility criteria, although it remains a less common practice.

As a foreigner looking to secure a property loan in Senegal, you can explore mortgage options provided by local banks and financial institutions, which often require a down payment of around 20% or more of the property value.

Foreigners might try their chance for mortgages with banks such as Société Générale Sénégal, Ecobank Senegal, and Banque Atlantique in Senegal.

However, it's important to know that mortgage rates in Senegal for a 20-year term range between 6% and 10%. While they are a bit high, they are still reasonable. Look into other countries for potentially better financing options.

What are the taxes related to a property transaction in Senegal?

Here is a breakdown of taxes related to a property transaction in Senegal.

Tax Description Calculation Who pays
Rental Income Tax Tax on the rental income generated from the property A flat rate of 20% on the net rental income Owner
Value Added Tax (VAT) Tax on the rental income, except for unfurnished residential properties 18% on rental income Owner
Capital Gains Tax Tax on capital gains from property sales 30% on the net capital gains (difference between sale and cost prices) for companies Seller
Property Tax Annual tax on the value of property owned 5% for all immovable properties, except factories and similar industrial establishments, which are taxed at 7.5% Owner
Stamp Duty Tax on property transfer 5% of the property sale price Buyer

What fees are involved in a property transaction in Senegal?

Below is a simple breakdown of fees for a property transaction in Senegal.

Fee Description Calculation Who pays
Notary Fee Fee for notarizing property transfer documents Between 0.75% and 4.5% depending on the property value Buyer
Land Registry Fee Fee for registering the property transfer 6% of the property value Buyer
Legal Fees Legal fees associated with the property transfer Varies depending on the complexity of the transaction Buyer
Real Estate Agent Commission Fee paid to real estate agent or broker From 5% to 8% of the property sale price Seller

Buying real estate in Senegal can be risky

An increasing number of foreign investors are showing interest in Senegal. However, 90% of them will make mistakes. Avoid the pitfalls with our comprehensive guide.

buying property foreigner Senegal