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Madagascar Expatriates Handbook
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Housing in Madagascar
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Housing in Madagascar
 
 
 

Malagasy houses, although constructed of varying materials in different parts of the island (brick and wood in the plateau, thatch and leaves in the west, and often on stilts in the east), are always rectangular, sited north-south, with the doorway opening to the west. In the central plateau, they are often two stories high and have outside terraces. The rapid growth of towns after World War II created grave problems of housing and sanitation, especially in Antananarivo, whose situation on a rocky promontory aggravates the difficulties of overcrowding.

Housing is quite adequate by Western standards, but floor plans may be somewhat odd. None of the houses have central heating, but all have fireplaces.

In 2004, legislation that allowed foreigners to own land was passed. Foreigners must invest up to $500,000 in real estate, banking, and tourism sectors, for them to own land. A one-stop office was created to assist foreign investors in those sectors. Another choice is to lease land, which is allowed for up to 99 years. Despite these quite liberal policies, foreigners still find it hard to invest in the country because of bureaucratic obstacles.