Navigating Zambia’s Real Estate Landscape: Insights from Inutu Zaloumis, Pam Golding Properties
In a recent interview, Inutu Zaloumis, the owner and managing director of Pam Golding Properties Zambia, sheds light on the intriguing facets of Lusaka’s residential real estate market.
The city boasts two distinct segments catering to local residents and expatriates. High mortgage interest rates have fueled a robust self-build market among Zambians, creating opportunities for gated communities that cater to the middle-income self-build market.
Livingstone’s Emergence as a Retirement Hotspot
Livingstone, located in southwestern Zambia, is emerging as a hotspot for retirement properties. Zaloumis points out the strategic advantages of Livingstone, including an international airport and proximity to South Africa, making it appealing to foreigners seeking retirement homes. The surge in property inquiries signifies a growing interest in this picturesque town.
Zambians Abroad Investing in Local Real Estate
Zambians working abroad show a keen interest in investing in local real estate, often with the intention of eventually retiring in Zambia. Zaloumis notes their involvement in developing rental properties while residing overseas and their inclination towards purchasing completed properties.
Untapped Potential in Student Accommodation
With Zambia’s youthful population and the recent introduction of free primary and secondary schooling, student accommodation emerges as a promising opportunity. The anticipated increase in demand for tertiary education positions student housing as a potential growth sector.
Industrial and Retail Challenges
The industrial property sector faces challenges with significant vacant space, particularly in warehouses. Speculative developments, driven by market expectations, have left vast spaces unoccupied. Owner-occupied or purpose-built industrial facilities prove more successful.
Lusaka’s retail market, on the other hand, has reached saturation due to a surge in shopping center developments. While large malls may struggle, there remains potential for smaller convenience shopping centers in specific areas.
Economic Influences on Property Valuations
Property valuations have remained relatively flat in recent years, influenced by factors such as high mortgage interest rates and currency depreciation. The challenge is particularly notable for developers pricing properties in US dollars, given the kwacha’s depreciation against the greenback.
Inutu Zaloumis provides a comprehensive overview of Zambia’s real estate landscape, highlighting promising sectors like the middle-income residential market and student accommodation alongside challenges faced by industrial and retail properties. As the market evolves, strategic considerations and adaptability will be crucial for investors and developers alike.