Interesting Facts

  • Over 80% of Lesotho is more than 1,800m (5,905.51ft) above sea level.
  • Lesotho is a constitutional monarchy.
  • The currency of Lesotho is the Loti (plural: Maloti). The Loti is pegged to the South African Rand and the currencies can typically be used interchangeably in Lesotho.

Key Market Alerts

Demand for housing in expatriate areas typically outweighs supply.

An Overview of Lesotho

The Kingdom of Lesotho was previously Basutoland and it gained independence from Britain in 1966. Lesotho is geographically surrounded by South Africa and is economically integrated and dependent on it for much of its economic activity. The economy of Lesotho is based on agriculture, livestock, manufacturing and mining. Lesotho is predominantly rural, with 75% of the population living in rural areas and according to the United Nations (2012) is currently listed as one of the least developed countries in the world. In rural areas many households rely upon subsistence farming.

Lesotho relies on South Africa for 90% of the goods it consumes, including most agricultural inputs. The government maintains a large presence in the economy – and is the largest employer with public expenditures accounting for 55% of GDP in 2010. Lesotho’s growth in 2012 remained modest, driven mainly by a doubling of mining investment and an increase in construction activities. There has been a steady growth in foreign investment and tourism since independence from Britain and economic ruin when political violence broke out in 1998. Diamond mining in Lesotho has grown in recent years.

Living in Maseru

Outside of main cities, roads in Lesotho are poorly maintained and four-wheel drives vehicles are recommended. The Maseru Shopping mall has many South African franchise grocery and clothing shops as well as restaurants. Lesotho is known as The Mountain Kingdom, characterised by the Maloti Mountain range, a scenically beautiful tourist attraction which even has a ski resort.

Housing in Maseru

There is a shortage of good quality mid and high end homes. Although up market housing estates are being developed. It is easier to find rental home than purchase a home, depending on their size, location and whether they are furnished or unfurnished. Utilities in Lesotho will not typically be included in the rental amount. Utilities will usually need to be transferred into the tenant’s name. The areas favoured by expatriates is Lower Thetsane and Kathelong area which is one of the up-market suburbs which houses diplomats and other high ranking government officials.

In contrast to the strict lending criteria experienced by buyers in South Africa, finance is very readily available to buyers in Lesotho. As such, almost all property sales in the country are exclusively bought through bank finance.

Schooling in Maseru

Schooling options for expatriate children in Maseru include an American International School and private schools which follows a British curriculum. Private boarding schools neighbouring South Africa are also an option.

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