Accommodation in Angola
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Most expat accommodation in Angola is found in Luanda, in compounds to the south of the city. With high demand and high rental rates, finding a place to live in Angola can be frustrating; however, most companies assist their expat employees with finding and paying for housing.
Types of housing in Angola
Around a fifth of Angola’s population is crowded into the capital city, which has resulted in a housing crisis. Luanda was initially built to accommodate 500,000 people, but is now home to around six times that. Most of these are locals living in makeshift, temporary housing on the city outskirts, while many more continue to migrate to the city in hopes of a brighter future.
Though expats won't be competing for the same standard of housing as most locals, the general lack of accommodation in Angola can be problematic and has made the real estate sector one of the world's most expensive. For this reason, expats should either ensure an accommodation allowance is built into their employment package, or that their salaries are enough to cover housing.
Most expats working for large oil corporations live in compounds and their accommodation costs are sponsored by their employer. These housing estates offer a good quality of life with large houses and high security. Many also have amenities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and shops.
Expats staying in Luanda for short-term contracts are often housed in city-centre hotels. They're generally upmarket, but the quality of services varies.
Outside of Luanda, accommodation is just as scarce and demand can be equally high. Even lower-quality hotels can be booked months in advance at exorbitant rates.
Factors to consider when house-hunting in Angola
Safety remains a prominent concern for expats moving to Angola. Home burglaries are common, as are carjackings and robberies. Expats should therefore ensure that they have adequate security for their homes. Most compounds offer secure living with access control and security guards.
In Luanda, compounds tend to be in the affluent Luanda Sul area to the south of the city. It's close to several English-language international schools, so it's popular for expats with children. However, morning commutes into the city can take hours in the heavily congested traffic. For this reason, single expats, or those without children, often choose to live in city-centre apartments.
Electricity and water supply can be unreliable no matter where one lives in Angola and expats should ensure that their homes are equipped with back-up generators and water tanks.