LUSAKA (September 11)
The Zambian property market is flourishing thanks to a booming economy, a thriving mining sector and new mortgage lending service, according to Chandalala Kondolo, a 12-year veteran of Lusaka’s real estate market and principal of the Chas Everitt International franchise that was recently opened in that city.
Of late, Zambia has been witnessing unprecedented growth in both the private and public sectors of the economy, he says. This is largely due to the good performance of the country’s copper and cobalt mines, with prices for these metals running high on world markets.
“Interest rates are also the lowest they’ve been in years, down to 17% from a whopping 40% and the kwacha is performing well against the dollar, which has mitigated the effects of soaring petrol prices. Additionally, the agricultural sector is thriving due to a skills influx from Zimbabwe.”
The property market is also gaining impetus, Kondolo says, from the recent introduction of mortgages, which were previously not available in Zambia.
He says entry-level properties are the best performers at the moment with many being built to meet a surge in demand. A number of developments are also springing up in response to strong demand from the rental market, with as much as US$3 500 a month being paid for executive accommodation.
“Many rental developments are being built with a view to housing the many expatriates and NGO workers who live here. There is also a huge gap for affordable and medium-income homes and investors would do well to address it.”
Kondolo adds that investors in commercial property should also see a healthy return due to the strong demand for office space in Lusaka. Rentals for such space have risen from US$10/sqm to as much as US$19/sqm in some areas in the past six months.
“In short, the whole Zambian property market is flourishing. Values have increased across the board and major investment is taking place as evidenced by developments such as Southgate Park - a multimillion rand Legacy Group project that is set to begin construction in Lusaka soon.