Office Sector

In the previous year, office space uptake has been poor as a result of the depressed economic climate in Zimbabwe.
Occupiers have been struggling to meet rent and service charges and the levels of arrears were generally high. Defaults in the office sector have increased significantly with demand declining due to the underperforming economy. With the pandemic in effect, the office sector’s chances of recovery are blurry. The outbreak has put pressure on the office space market and rental growth as a result of low economic activity and reduced business activity. Access to the Central Business Districts (CBD) was a challenge putting pressure on the performance of properties within the CBD highly affecting the sector. The sector’s occupancy level is estimated at 60% for the bulk of the office buildings in the CBD and this is projected to decrease as companies adopt technology for remote working and voluntarily surrender space surrender.

Observed rentals in the office sector achievable in US$ are as follows:

rental research

Download the full Property Market Report Q2 – 2020.

Q1 report cover


Mortgage sector

Mortgage loans from December 2017 constituted an average of 12-14% of the total productive sector lending.  There was a sharp decline from a double-digit figure of 19.54% recorded in June 2019 before SI142 of 2019 5.65% in December 2019. This is because banks are increasingly adopting a cautious lending approach and thus not issuing out as much loans and further, the product seems greatly trailing behind inflation.

Figure 4: Percentage distribution of mortgage loans December 2017 – 2019

“Commercial property values are dependent on the rental cash flows, as such the organizational capacities to pay rentals will be compromised which will affect property values”

Source: RBZ Monetary Policy statements

Mortgages returns remain negative in real terms with inflation above 500% while interest rates now at 25%. Secured lending will remain viable either way as any default the borrower loses more and banks would benefit more from defaults when they repossess.

Download the full Propety Market Report Q1 – 2020.