31 January 2013

Namibia: Henties Comes With a Big Price Tag

HOME is where the heart is. In Henties Bay, however, home is where the money is.

New data has shown that the median house price at the seaside resort is N$782 500, the highest in the country.

Henties' price is more than Windhoek's, where the median price tag for a house is N$720 000. It is also more than a N$100 000 higher than that of Swakopmund, where the median house price is N$660 000.

Data contained in the latest FNB House Price Index (HPI) shows that Henties, Windhoek and Swakop are the three most expensive places in Namibia to house hunt.

The rest of the country lags far behind: Gobabis, with N$530 000, has the fourth highest median house price, followed by Otjiwarongo with N$512 500. Omaruru has a median house price of N$512 000, while Grootfontein's is N$500 000.

The median price, most commonly used to compare real estate prices in different markets, is the price in the middle of a range of lowest to highest prices. In a group of 13 houses, the median price will therefore be the price of the seventh house, with six houses cheaper than the median price and six more expensive.

Analysts prefer to use the median price rather than the average price, as the average price can be skewed depending on whether there more expensive or cheap houses in a group.

Katima Mulilo has the lowest median house price in Namibia, FNB's HPI shows. The median house price of the town last year was N$201 855, 19% lower than the previous year. Over the past five years, the median house price in Katima has dropped by 12%.

According to the HPI, the median house price of Henties has grown by 56% since 2007, and by 17% in 2011. Windhoek's median house price jumped by 92% over the past five years and increased by 18% in 2011.

The biggest jump in median house prices over the past years was registered in Grootfontein, where it skyrocketed by 183%.

Other towns with triple-digit growth over the same period are Gobabis (138%) and Ondangwa (113%). The median house price for Ondangwa was N$479 100 in 2012.

Besides Katima Mulilo, Oshikango was the only town which showed negative growth over the past five years. Median house prices here plummeted by 63%. In 2007, the median house price in Oshikango was N$1 million; last year it was N$373 000.

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