Zimbabwe has the lowest rentals in sub-Saharan Africa, a report by international property firm Knight Frank has shown.
The 2017 Africa report attributes the problem to protracted economic problems leading to depressed demand for properties in all sectors.
“Zimbabwe’s most expensive residential properties- at rentals averaging $2 000 per month- were only higher than those of Botswana, which average $1 900. All other rentals- office, retail and industrial — were lower than most regional averages,” reads the report in part.
Whereas Zimbabwe’s up-market residential rentals averaged $2 000, they were nowhere comparable to the $15 000 charged in Luanda (Angola), the $10 000 in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo), the $5 500 in Maputo (Mozambique), the $4 500 in Johannesburg and $5000 in Cape Town (South Africa) and the $3 500 charged in Lusaka (Zambia). In Windhoek (Namibia), the residential prime rents averaged $2 900, $4 500 in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), $5 000 in Kampala (Uganda) and $4 100 in Nairobi (Kenya).
In Harare, prime office rentals averaged $10 per square metre, compared to Angola’s $80, Mozambique’s $27,50, DRC’s $25, South Africa’s $18, Zambia’s $20 and $11,50 in Gaborone (Botswana).
At $25 per square metre, Zimbabwe’s retail space is cheaper than the $80 in Angola, $60 in South Africa, $48 in Kenya, $40 in Zambia and $28 in Mozambique.
As for the industrial rents, Zimbabwe’s $3 per square metre is cheaper than the $15 charged in the DRC, $10 in Angola, $6 in Zambia, $5,50 in Mozambique and $5 charged in South Africa.
Low disposable incomes
According to the report, low disposable incomes and poor liquidity have depressed rental levels and reduced property prices. Therefore, no major speculative housing developments have been built in recent times, and the few attempts to construct such projects have failed.
The problem has resulted in developers revising their plans to construct mega commercial projects in the country.
For example, plans to construct a new suburban shopping malls like the Mall of Zimbabwe and the Gunhill Mall has been shelved in light of the country’s poor economic prospect.
Zimbabwe slot as having the lowest rentals in sub-Saharan Africa also indicates that the construction industry that the country needs to boost its economic outlook is suffering.