NUMEROUS high-priced houses were taken off the Windhoek market in March after months of trying to sell them, FNB Namibia has said in its latest Housing Index.
This means demand is weakening in the upper price segment at the current market price, Namene Kalili, FNB Namibia's manager of research and competitor intelligence, said.
Property prices in the capital have weakened by two per cent during the first quarter of the year, he said.
The FNB House Price Index for March accelerated by eight per cent month-on-month (m-o-m) to 150 basis points. "However, it grew 0,6 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) and is hence back to where it was a year ago," Kalili said.
Overall volumes remained very weak through March and were down four per cent m-o-m and down 14 per cent y-o-y.
"Bond registrations for Elisenheim and Omeya are in full swing and these are expected to support volumes for the remainder of the year," he said.
Media property prices in central Namibia rose seven per cent m-o-m, but dropped seven per cent y-o-y.
"Over the past year, house prices have remained relatively flat in the central region," Kalili said.
He said the entry of Elisenheim and Omeya properties coincided with Windhoek's property prices slowing down by two per cent.
Kalili said land delivery increased moderately in March, but remains weak with only four stands mortgaged. "It is a far cry from the 300 stands required each month to house the central market's population growth," he said.
At N$152 per square metre, land was 20 per cent cheaper than the February average.
"It is good to note that ground work has started to address land delivery in Windhoek. We should see some of these stands coming to the market around mid 2013," Kalili said.
Coastal property prices continued to improve from their December low, with a further 9 per cent month on month increase but down 4 per cent year on year, keeping in mind that they were down by as much as 24 per cent year on year in December.
Median house prices at the coast increased nine per cent m-o-m, but down four per cent y-o-y. Coastal land delivery deteriorated to a "dismal four stands after averaging 19 stands per month for 2011", Kalili said.
He said land prices increased by 20 per cent to N$189 per square metres from the February average. "We still expect a surge in land delivery later in the year".
In the North, median house prices continued to grow, climbing a further ten per cent in March and raising the y-o-y growth figure up to 18 per cent.
Land delivery was above average, driving prices in the especially the lower segment down. Average land prices were N$33 per square metre, down 47 per cent from the February average. Kalili said house prices in the South continued to increase "dramatically", but that volumes in the area were flat.
Summarising, Kalili said y-o-y house prices in Namibia were flat, but that they picked up compared to February.