Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
Zimbabwe is expected to see a significant shift in the residential real estate segment in the next few years as developers move towards more cost effective, modern housing in line with global trends, experts have said.
Densification, adoption of recycled materials, cluster and smart homes, are among the trends that may take centre stage in the residential property segment going forward, with some already being implemented.
Market watchers agreed during a Zimbabwe Annual Property Market webinar hosted by Financial Markets Indaba (FMI) in partnership with West Property Zimbabwe, that there already was a shift in the sector.
West Property Zimbabwe executive chairman Ken Sharpe highlighted that some land had been left lying idle in cities, but this was changing significantly with property developers taking it up to develop gated communities and clusters homes.
This comes as urban councils are also seeing the need for a densification model to meet the increasing demand for residential space, especially major cities where desperate home seekers are opting for areas not suitable for residential habitation such as wetlands.
This also comes as home seekers are shifting to smaller, but manageable spaces.
“We used to see people buying large pieces of land, acres, but this is changing significantly. People now want small pieces of land that they can manage and afford to maintain. The market now wants something that is cost effective,” he said.
Mr Sharpe added that there has also been more innovative financing for property developments unlike in the past two decades where economic uncertainties slowed activity with construction of residential housing units taking longer to complete, both by individual home seekers and developers.
Memorage Architecture principal architect Mordecai Kamwaza said some of the modern trends were worth pursuing and up for consideration. Apart from high rise buildings, Mr Kamwaza said there was need to adopt smart cities concept, gated communities, cluster developments and shipping container applications to provide cost effective, environmentally friendly housing solutions.
This could also narrow the housing deficit burdening the country.
Apart from the current trends in the sector, panellists also discussed how the market might perform throughout 2022 including some of the important economic indicators that property investors need to be aware of.
FMI managing director Patrick Muzondo said the annual property market webinar — which brought various experts including developers, property designers and architects, mortgage lenders and legal experts, was aimed at highlighting the investment opportunities in the real estate sector in Zimbabwe.
“There is a lot of activity in acquisition and development of property in Zimbabwe despite the disruptions and uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The panelists looked at the trends and insights into how the market will perform throughout 2022 and beyond including some of the important economic indicators that property investors will need to be aware of,” he said.