SA es­tate agents bet on Zim­babwe

Financial Mail - Investors Monthly - - Opening Bell -

Zim­babwe may not rank top of mind for many when con­sid­er­ing at­trac­tive in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tions. But a sub­stan­tial hous­ing short­fall amid grow­ing de­mand is prompt­ing big SA real es­tate brands to ex­pand their op­er­a­tions to Zim­babwe. Se­eff and Pam Gold­ing Prop­er­ties have had a pres­ence in Harare for some time al­ready. Last month, Fine & Coun­try opened its first of­fice in Harare. Linda Eras­mus, CEO of Fine & Coun­try sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa, says the group plans to open more of­fices across Zim­babwe, aim­ing for about 80 agents na­tion­wide.

Karen Nyenga, CEO of Fine & Coun­try’s newly es­tab­lished Zim­babwe of­fice, says Zim­babwe is still a solid prop­erty in­vest­ment desti­na­tion, given the es­ti­mated back­log of least 1.8m homes and very lit­tle new stock be­ing added to the mar­ket in re­cent years.

She says there is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity for cred­i­ble de­vel­op­ers and fi­nanciers to en­ter the mar­ket, es­pe­cially at the lower end, where banks are keen to lend to qual­i­fy­ing buy­ers. “There re­mains a huge gap be­tween sup­ply and de­mand, which needs to be filled.”

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