By Melody Chikono DENSIFICATION and modernisation of real estate is projected to drive the property sector with access to capital remaining a major obstacle, property developer West Properties has said.
Densification entails land development that takes place within existing communities, making maximum use of the existing infrastructure instead of building on previously undeveloped land. The concept has, over the years, become a central method of achieving smart, sustainable cities across the world.
There has been considerable mushrooming of construction works across all property classes over the past five years.
West Properties chief executive Ken Sharpe last Friday told delegates at the Global Renaissance Investments (GRI) Zimbabwe Infrastructure Investment Summit held in Victoria Falls that the market was shifting from occupying single residential homes with a large land area and, instead, downsizing to smaller modern homes within a gated community.
“In 2023, expect to see densification as modernisation of real estate continue to drive the sector with clusters of enclosed estates and gated communities sought after. There has been considerable mushrooming of construction works across all property classes over the past five years, for example, clusters and gated communities, small shopping centres such as Village Walk and Highlands Park and developing specific client purpose use or fit for purpose warehousing facilities” Sharpe said
While access to capital continues to be a stumbling block, he called for innovative financial products that buyers can access to complete their homes quicker.
Sharpe said the global cash crunch applied to both buyers and property developers.
“There is demand to continue densification in urban areas and the authorities are doing very well in approving zoning of these in terms of residential cluster developments and we now need high rise residential properties in the capital. The market is shifting from occupying single residential homes with large land and instead downsizing to smaller modern homes within a gated community. Properties along main roads are undergoing change of use to allow commercial use of the offices that are moving away from the central business district,” he said.
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Sharpe added that the City of Harare’s strict compliance policy had led to improvement in the quality of developments, resulting in increased value of developments and reduced risk. Going forward, he said, green development with sustainable and renewable resources were preferred over traditional developments due to cost and superior reliability.Follow us on Twitter @NewsDayZimbabwe