Botswana: Gaborone Property Market Healthy Despite Covid-19

Gaborone — The Gaborone property market has remained healthy in the face of COVID-19 due to a relatively low to zero change in the spending habits of Batswana.

This was said by Matchmakers Properties managing director, Mr Isaac Molefinyane, in an interview this week.

He said much of the local property markets in Francistown and Maun had been fairly hit, purchase activity in the greater Gaborone area had remained fairly stable.

The property market around Gaborone was still experiencing good supply and demand with properties around Gaborone North still experiencing good appetite even for high value properties in the upwards of P850 000 to P1.3 million, he said.

Market value of properties had not changed either, he said.

Mr Molefinyane noted that banks had reduced their debt ratio to about 75 per cent with two banks halting mortgage financing completely while a few were still financing at 100 per cent.

For his company, he said, such flurry of finance activity would likely stall market potential as it awaited lifting of the state of emergency in order to improve liquidity.

However, he said the effect would be small in relation to the hunger experienced in the market.

Mr Molefinyane said the appetite for property in Gaborone was driven largely by the affordability of ready built properties because some did not want to go through the process of building from start.

Residential properties were still sought after, he said, adding that the commercial side was also experiencing some appetite growth largely driven by the revised Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency regulations as more business entities entered the space.

According to Mr Molefinyane, more females dominated the residential buying space whereas a higher percentage of men took up the commercial side.

On Batswana's continuing complaints about high property prices, Mr Molefinyane said a of spiral factors had affected the market.

One of the factors, he said, was that Batswana had largely lost properties in prime land due to selling it off.

"When someone sells property to high income individuals this affects the prices for that area because they have the capacity and financial means to develop that property significantly raising its value," he explained.

In addition, Batswana were continually losing land in tribal areas through fronting for foreigners who bought plots in contravention of the 2015 Tribal Land Act which stipulates that aliens should not buy tribal land.

Meanwhile Mr Molefinyane has advised Batswana to buy property as an income generating endeavour so as to get more value out of their properties.

He said contrary to most Batswana's perceptions, buying property, especially under mortgage, was a liability and not an asset.

Mr Molefinyane therefore advised first time buyers to buy properties not to live in but for leasing. BOPA

Source : BOPA

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