Housing Finance in Zimbabwe

Overview

This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2019 Zimbabwe country profile, click here.

Zimbabwe had a population of 15.1 million in December 2018. Following rapid rural to urban migration in recent years, 32.21 percent of the population now live in urban areas. Extreme complexities and market volatility driven by regulatory interventions have characterised the Zimbabwean economy from Q4 2018 into 2019 . In 2016, when deposits in Foreign Currency Accounts (FCA) in the banking system totalled Z$42.8 billion (US$5.9 billion),9 banks started to experience a shortage of US dollars. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe introduced a surrogate currency termed “bond notes” which was deemed to be equivalent to the US$. Bond coins were also introduced to facilitate change on small transactions. The uncertainties over currency values have disrupted smooth operation of the property market.

The underwriting procedures of housing finance providers in Zimbabwe are not uniform but generally, down payments ranging from zero to 25 percent of the purchase price of a property to be purchased or constructed are required, depending on the risk perception of the lender.There is no secondary mortgage market in Zimbabwe. Housing finance institutions therefore do not have access to capital markets and rely mainly on retail deposits which are short term in nature.

Estimates of housing demand in Zimbabwe range from 1.3 million to 1.5 million housing units.Notable recent projects that added to the housing stock in 2018 and 2019 were done by CABS, which undertook a 2 797 unit project in the Budiriro suburb of Harare and a 1 080 unit project in the Pumula/Nkulumane suburb of Bulawayo. CBZ Bank serviced 1 174 stands in Victoria Falls and the National Building Society (NBS) developed 600 houses in the Dzivaresekwa suburb of Harare.

Opportunity exists for establishing a secondary mortgage market in Zimbabwe when the national economy stabilises. Modern technologies offer tremendous opportunities for upgrading the survey and titling procedures through systems that satisfy the current standards set in existing legislation and enable easy access to data.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Zimbabwe, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:

 


Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2019 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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