Namibia’s House Prices Spark Land Grab Fears

Namibia’s House Prices Spark Land Grab Fears

From  Mail & Guardian Africa

It is becoming exorbitantly expensive to own a house in Namibia, which has been ranked as the country with the world’s highest property inflation – a position held by Dubai last year.

Namibia will inaugurate a new government next month and property price increases will anger a section of the youth, who have in the past threatened to unleash widespread land grabs across the country.

A recently released Namibian First National Bank housing index report placed the country in pole position in terms of housing inflation.

“Namibia tops the list of global rankings, recording annual price growth of 16.7% as the country struggles to meet the growing housing demand despite numerous government interventions to increase new housing supply,” said Namene Kalili, the research and development manager at FNB Namibia Holdings.

In 2013, the government launched a R45-billion housing project to build 180 000 houses by 2030. But the project has not affected the market yet because its implementation continues to be hampered by delays.

Unaffordable property

The FNB report, which is partly based on data from the Knight Frank Global House Price Index, shows that Namibia is followed by Ireland with housing inflation of 15%, Turkey (14%), Dubai (12.5%) and the United Kingdom (10.5%). South Africa is ranked 14th with 8%.

The report said Namibia’s robust consumer demand and stronger mining exports have exerted pressure on prices in the world’s second-least populated country, which has just over two million people.

A previous report said that, with the median house price being R774 000, households must earn at least R23 000 a month to afford an average property.

“This is almost three times the average household income for urban households. Income requirement for the lower price segment came in at R15 000 a month,” the report said, adding that less than 10% of households in Namibia could afford a property in the lower-priced segment.

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