BY FIDELITY MHLANGA
LISTED Dawn Properties says it is buoyant that Zimbabwe diasporans will grab residential stands under its $200 million housing facility in Harare.
The country receives an estimated US$1 billion in diaspora remittances per annum.
The property giant unveiled the Marlborough Sunset Views project on Tuesday, in which it envisages to deliver 352 residential stands.
Dawn Properties managing director Patrick Matute on Tuesday said the company was confident that the investment will pay dividends despite the worsening
economic environment in the country.
“We are still of the view that despite the negative economic environment we live in, we have Zimbabwe diasporans who still need to buy stands and build homes.
They need a credible developer they can trust.
“So, we think we can access that market and that is the reason we also chose Masimba (Construction). We think it gives that credibility to someone sitting in
the United Kingdom to say I bought my stand while in the UK. I bought my stand with Dawn and I pay for it on a monthly basis. The contractor is Masimba, and I
want to pay for it over five years. We think that combination works, which is why we are not waiting for when the conditions are right,” Matute said.
He said the company would also hedge its investment against the harsh economic environment.
“We are generating excess cashflows from our operations. There are only two ways you can go about it. It is by either giving shareholders money or investing
in something. Your job is to generate returns.
“And for us, the only store of value is property development. We are not worried about what the market will be like in January when we deliver the stands. The
market is not right, but this is not a perishable product and we can hold on to it. So, our view is that we develop and add value on the land. This land, if
you come back in January, there will be roads, electricity, water and sewer reticulation,” Matute said
Asked how they were going to price the residential stands, Matute said: ”It’s difficult to say right now; very difficult like you are saying there is a lot of
volatility. I am not able to tell how the rate will be in the next two months. So, for me to predict about January, you will be putting me in a really tight
spot. Pricing is not only the cost that you have used to develop the stand. It’s also the market and there are a lot of factors, too. So, right now, we are
still quite fluid on that. That is the environment; it’s so fluid.”
In the medium to long term, Matute said they will avail other projects currently in the gestation period.
“We still have projects in the hospitality in Hwange and Victoria Falls. Remember, Dawn Properties owns a lot of hotels. So, we are not running away from that
sector. So, we have pipeline projects in Hwange and one in Victoria Falls that are being worked on at the moment. They are quite big projects in terms of
value,” he said.