4 December 2012

Mozambique: First "casa Jovem" Homes Complete, Deeds Signed

Maputo — The first buyers of apartments in the Maputo housing project “Casa Jovem” (“houses for youth”), sponsored by the Joaquim Chissano Foundation (FDC), but built entirely by the company Charas Ltd, on Tuesday signed the deeds for their new homes.

96 of the flats have been concluded so far, and buyers came to the site to sign the documents of sale giving them the property rights.

In all, “Casa Jovem” will contain over 500 flats in its first phase. Those not yet completed are in an advanced stage of construction. According to the project administrator, Erik Charas, there are buyers for all 500 houses.

The buyers can move into their homes in January, after the gardens have been finalized and the access road improved.

The sales price ranges from 35,000 to 65,000 US dollars, depending on size.

Payments are made in stages of 10 per cent at a time, as the houses are built. The first ten per cent reserves the house, eighty per cent is paid in installments during construction, and the final ten per cent on signing the deed of sale.

Initially, Charas had hoped that the buyers would obtain favourable terms for mortgages from the commercial banks. But the banks refused to lower their extortionate interest rates. As a result, Charas told AIM, only about 12 per cent of the buyers have obtained mortgages – and many of these are bank employees who can obtain more favourable interest rates.

Everybody else has obtained the money from other sources. Charas says there have been few defaults: of the 500 buyers, only eight failed to meet the payment deadlines, and five of these managed to make late payments.

The project, located in the outer Maputo neighbourhood of Costa do Sol, was announced in 2010 as an initiative to provide housing for young professionals. Construction began in February this year, in an area of 30 hectares, made available by Maputo City Council.

When all phases of the project are complete, there will be 1,800 flats in apartment blocks ranging in size from three to seven storeys, as well as some individual houses. The project also envisages a commercial area that will contain supermarkets, pharmacies, cafes, offices and leisure areas.

The total investment involved in building Casa Jovem is 120 million US dollars. To date, 12 million dollars has been invested, and the money paid by the beneficiaries is 30 million dollars. Charas told AIM that the initial investment came from his company’s own funds, and later, when the project looked like a success, banks agreed to grant the company overdraft facilities.

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