KARIBA – High property prices are driving potential investors out of this resort town.
As a result, most properties are losing value while lying idle because there are simply no takers for them at current prices.
Kariba has three high density suburbs namely Mahombekombe — which is the oldest — Nyamhunga and Batonga. Kariba Heights, a low density suburb, caters for the well-heeled.
The town also boasts of a few hotels, several lodges and houseboats.
Lately, not many people have been able to afford properties in this resort town owing to the harsh economic conditions which have hit potential buyers where it hurts most — the pocket.
Properties in Kariba are generally expensive because they are specially built due to the high temperatures in this resort town throughout the year.
“Generally, properties are too expensive here and very few can afford them,” said Kariba Incorporated Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman, Sam Mawawo.
On average, houses in Kariba Heights are fetching between US$130 000 to US$140 000 while those in high density suburbs cost between US$20 000 and US$50 000 for a four-roomed residential property.
Even owners of houseboats are finding the going tough; some houseboats have been on the market for more than five years.
Selling property in this town is becoming a challenge as potential buyers can hardly risk their monies due to Kariba’s remoteness and the generally poor returns on their investment.
Another frustrating thing is that some of the sellers do not have the requisite documentation or titles for the properties, which they claim to own.
It would appear that those who do not have documents to their properties grabbed these assets from former white commercial farmers who abandoned them at the height of the chaotic land reforms in 2000.
Kariba has an estimated population of 28 000, according to 2012 Zimbabwe National Population Census.
Its economy hinges on kapenta fishing, tourism and game viewing among others.