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Property prices expected to remain in the red – Economist

Property prices expected to remain in the red – Economist

In the latest FNB Residential property report author Ruusa Nandago, FNB Group Economist states, that the FNB House Price Index plunged further into negative territory at the end of September 2019, reaching a historic low of 5.1% y/y compared to 2% recorded over the same period last year.

“The deeper contraction in the third quarter reflects elevated demand side risks emanating from subdued household income and confidence. While positive price growth was recorded in the Central and Southern regions, further gains were capped by contractions observed in the Coastal and Northern regions,” she said.

According to the research, the average price for a house at the end of September was N$1,120,805. The volume index recorded growth of 0.2% y/y at the end of September 2019. The small segment recorded growth of 10.3% y/y but this was almost entirely offset by contractions in the medium, large and luxury segments of 27.2% y/y, 38.9% y/y and 58.3% y/y respectively.

Furthermore, the small segment made up 83% of all housing transactions, followed by the medium segment which made up 15%, the large segment which made up 2% and the luxury segment which made up 0.4% of all transactions.

“This confirms our earlier view that demand has shifted to and will remain concentrated in the small segment,” she added.

In the Central part of the country, property prices showed positive growth for the first time since February 2018. The price growth at the end of September was recorded at 3.8% y/y compared to a contraction of 4.7% recorded over the same period last year. A house in the Central region is now priced at N$1,466,000. Across major municipalities the average price of a town at the end of September was N$637,000 in Gobabis, N$745,000 in Okahandja, and N$ 1.2 million in Windhoek.

The Coastal region once again recorded the poorest price growth with prices in this region contracting by 5.4% y/y compared to a contraction of 1.9% y/y over the same period last year. The average house price in the Coastal region is now N$1,041,000. Swakopmund had the highest average house price at N$ 889,000 followed by Walvis Bay at N$ 832,000 and Henties Bay at N$ 572,000.

After entering negative territory in April this year, Northern prices have continued to remain weak with a contraction of 4.6% recorded at the end of September 2019 compared to the growth of 6.7% y/y recorded over the same period last year. The average house price in the Northern regions is now at N$825,000. The average price for a house in Ongwediva now stands at N$853,000 while a house in Ondangwa is priced at N$1.03 million and a house in Oshakati at N$589,000.

Prices in the Southern region grew by 15.3% y/y at the end of September 2019. The average house price in the Southern region is now N$925,000.

Nandago added that demand side factors have been dominating the property market over the course of the year, with anaemic demand keeping property market activity subdued. Property price growth and transaction volume growth have come under immense pressure in a macroeconomic environment characterised by weak consumer spending and consumer uncertainty.

“In addition to poor price growth, sellers have had to drop their asking prices by 22% before securing a sale and a single property remains on the market for an average of 8 months before it is sold. These dynamics have kept growth in house prices at bay.”

She concluded that a shift in activity towards the small segment has been the dominant theme for the year– further evidence of mounting pressures on household incomes.

“Although we expect activity to remain robust in the small segment, weak activity in the medium, large and luxury segments are likely to keep a lid on property price and volume growth. We maintain our view that the recent repo rate cut, and any future rate cuts will not yield a recovery in the property market as a rebound in the housing market will require a significant shift in macroeconomic fundamentals. Looking forward, we expect downside demand risks to continue to dominate due to the erosion of household spending power. As such, property prices will remain in the red, particularly in the medium to upper end of the market,” she said.


About The Author


The Economist accommodates two interns every year, one per semester. They are given less demanding, softer issues to hone their skills, often with a specific leaning to social issues. Today, many of our interns are respected journalists or career professionals at economic and financial institutions. - Ed.

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


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.