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Women, millennials disadvantaged in Namibia’s property market

Women, millennials disadvantaged in Namibia’s property market

In a new research paper, FNB Namibia’s Market Research Manager, Ruusa Nandago, explained that gender gaps in economic opportunities and wage incomes, for example, mean that women account for a smaller share of household income and are thus less likely to accumulate savings for the purchase of property.

Nandago noted that there have have been concerns that millennials and young working professionals have been excluded from the housing market and may never own homes of their own owing to high levels of unemployment among this demographic.

Historically, transactions in the housing market have been dominated by couples. The data, however, reveals that there has been a sharp decline in the number of housing transactions by this cohort since 2017 with couples accounting for only 28% of all housing transactions in the first half of 2019.

According to Nandago, this decline can be attributed to changing marriage trends characterised by an increasing number of individuals opting to marry later in life or opting not to marry at all.

“Furthermore, there has been a declining trend in the number of couples choosing to marry in community of property and consequently less couples registering joint bonds. This is a strategy which provides some relief in terms of affordability, as it allows individuals to own two properties which can be registered as primary residences, for which no deposit is required. Single men are now the fastest growing group of home owners, accounting for 42% of total transaction volumes. At 30%, the proportion of transaction volumes by single women lags that of single men which is a clear indication of a gender gap in the housing market,” Nandago said.

One of the first discoveries by FNB Namibia is that single men are increasingly dominating transaction volumes, while single women purchase lower priced homes than single men.

“The gender gap in the housing market is further corroborated by gender differentials in the average house price of homes purchased. The data shows that single women have consistently purchased lower priced homes when compared to single men. On average the price of a home purchased by a single woman is 11% lower than that purchased by a single man. In the first half of 2019, the average house price for single women was recorded at N$941 008, while that of single men was recorded at N$1 024 138,” Nandago explained.

Nandago further goes on to say that the average age of a home buyer in Namibia shows a declining trend and the average age has come down to 38 years old, the lowest it has been in 9 years.

“When compared to other jurisdictions, Namibians buy their houses at a much later stage in life. The average age in the UK, for example, is much lower at 30 years while the average age in the US is 32 years old. Interestingly, the average age for single women home buyers (35 years) is slightly lower than that of men (37 years),” she said.


 

About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

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20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.