Property Sales Down 40 % As Covid-19 Worsens

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By Alois Vinga

PROPERTY sales in Zimbabwe have gone down by 40% owing to economic problems in Zimbabwe which have been further worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, the property market report for the second quarter of 2020 has established.

The document states Zimbabwe’s economic challenges have reached a tipping point since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic early this year.

“Property sales are reported to have gone down drastically by as much as 40% as both buyers and sellers develop a wait and see attitude,” the report reads.

“We note, the economic situation on the ground, reflects that the decrease in property sales is due to the reduction of disposable incomes.”

Notably, property values have taken a knock due to Covid-19 to a cumulative impact averaging between 30% to 40% by year end.

The survey bemoaned an emerging trend in the properties market where tenants are surrendering excess space in favor of smaller and cheaper offices.

The use of technology which has seen many people working from home has also reduced the demand for office space.

The pandemic’s impact on the tourism sector whose viability has been affected by the 80 % drop in international passenger traffic, 60% drop in tourist arrivals and over 90% drop in hotel occupancies has limited the capacity of the sector’s tenants to pay rentals.

The study highlights that declining economy has seen companies laying off workers or placed on unpaid.

“The major blow to the property management business has been the rental moratorium which although meant for the residential properties was misinterpreted to be extending to the commercial and industrial sector,” the study said.

Conducting valuation exercises has also been extremely affected by the pandemic since the sector’s workers can no longer move freely as before.