A survey done in the property industry revealed that some houses, especially in the low density suburbs in Harare, were now “too expensive to purchase” coming at a time when most Zimbabwean civil servants earn less than US$300 monthly.
The highest paid “junior tycoons” are getting about $1 500 but these work mainly for Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Building societies are still not offering mortgages in Zimbabwe because they say they will not get their cash back because citizens cannot afford to do so.
Building societies stopped offering mortgage loans to customers during the hyperinflationary period when inflation soared to a record 231 million percent – the highest in the world – even according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Seef Property Consultants (Private) Limited which deals mainly with houses in the wealthy upmarket suburbs of Harare said on Tuesday their homes were being sold at an average of between $80 000 to about $1 million in Harare.
A house in Harare’s plush Glen Lorne low density suburb is currently going for $750 000.Set on a split level, the house has three lounges, dining room, large Romeo, kitchen with hob and oven and three bedrooms, with one ensuite.
It has two separate bathrooms.
The house also has, among other goodies, three boreholes, an all weather tennis court, on 17 000 square metres.
Seef Properties said another house in the medium density suburb of Cotswold Hills, where mainly the yong generation reside, was going for $80 000 cash. This house has a sunken lounge, dining room, fitted kitchen, three bedrooms and bath and separate toilet. It has a double car port, is walled and gated and on a quarter acre.
In Nyanga Seef Properties said property prices were also skyrocketing because businesspeople are snapping up holiday homes in the attractive resort area. A holiday home in Nyanga is going for $130 000. It is situated on more than five hectares with lake frontage and views. The house’s garage can accommodate four motor vehicles.
In high density suburbs, however, while the prices are lower they are still prohibitive, property analysts confirm.
The average three bed roomed house is going for about $30 000 right now in such high density suburbs as Highfields, Mbare, Mufakose and Glen Norah.
Customers interviewed said the multi-currency introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) had made it much easier to purchase houses but they are still “very expensive”.
Zimbabwe currently uses the United States dollar and the South African Rand as legal tender after having dumped the worthless Zimbabwe dollar.
A 300 square metre residential stand is fetching not less than $3 000 in most high density areas in Harare today, while a four bed roomed house is fetching not less than $20 000.
Clouds Properties (Private) Limited said a house in the plush Chishawasha Hills, about 20km out of Harare, standing on three hectares was going for $100 000, while a three bed roomed house in the Hatfield medium density suburb is pegged at $100 000. The house has three bedrooms, large lounge, dining room, swimming pool, staff quarters on 6 000 square metres.
In the Budiriro high density suburb Clouds Properties said a two bed roomed apartment was going for $18 000, while in the Mbare high density suburb a four bed roomed home is going for $20 000.It is walled and gated and Title Deeds are available.
In Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe, Clouds Properties said stands were going for $25 000 each. They are on 7 900 square metres, are fully serviced and have Title Deeds accompanying them.
“Houses are now very expensive and we cannot afford to buy them with our present very low salaries,” a senior civil servant said in an interview. “That is among the major reasons why we want an urgent salary review or we will go on an indefinite strike and cripple the economy.”
Property consultants confirmed that houses were still available but that very few takers were snapping them up. They said it was much cheaper to build a house than to buy a complete one at the moment.
The consultant said it costs between $17 000 and $20 000 to build a simple three bed roomed house in Harare’s low density suburbs today.