Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing in Pakistan: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities

December 14, 2023
2 min read

Huge housing deficits in Sub Saharan Africa (60 million homes) and South Asia (80 million homes) have contributed to urban sprawl, a lack of housing options and infrastructure, and given rise to overcrowded slums such as those found in Accra, Cape Town, Kampala, Karachi, Lagos, Manila, Mumbai, and Nairobi. Scalable, affordable housing solutions can improve the health and economic opportunities of people on low incomes, while driving inclusive growth, climate mitigation and urban resilience. Despite the impactful opportunity, delivery is often inhibited in emerging markets by demand-side and supply-side bottlenecks.

Market leaders Reall (an innovator and investor in climate-smart affordable housing) and the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF – an independent think tank) have been driving initiatives to resolve data gaps and improve understandings of housing markets. Together, they have spearheaded the Market Shaping Indicators (MSI) project as an international initiative to improve access to data on housing markets in African and Asian geographies.

Through a blend of local and international expertise, rigorous research, and methodical data collection, the MSI initiative brings together national, regional and city-wide evidence for affordable housing in a single ‘live’ dashboard. This enables market stakeholders to quickly access and assess relevant market intelligence and make more informed investment and policy decisions.

The briefing on Pakistan utilizes recently collected MSI data in Pakistan by Reall and in-country partner Impetus Advisory Group (IAG) to illuminate and assess the current state and trajectory of the country’s urban affordable housing market. It does so at a time of unprecedented political support for affordable housing within Pakistan as an engine for economic and social development, in a broader context of COVID-related upheaval and uneven progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The data and evidence summarized in this briefing have significant implications for the trajectory of affordable housing policy, investment, and practice in urban Pakistan. The subsequent sections introduce key highlights and examples from the MSI data, beginning with a summary of the research methodology and a general outline of the current context in Pakistan. The report then dives deeper into specific findings relating to urbanization and housing conditions; housing finance; and land, infrastructure and regulations. Throughout, the briefing emphasizes the practical significance of the MSI data and makes critical recommendations and calls to action for the wider ecosystem.

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For the MSI Dashboard, visit