Zim mortgage system set for review

BY Luckmore Safuli

Zimbabwe’s mortgage system is set to be reviewed for alignment with the current macro-economic environment and to attract home seekers.

With a housing waiting list of over 1.5 million, Zimbabwe is exploring various options towards the provision of affordable housing to citizens.

National Housing and Social Amenities Minister, Honourable Daniel Garwe says engagements are underway with relevant authorities towards the remodelling of the mortgage system to ensure that it speaks to the current socio-economic environment.

“The mortgage system has remained static despite the transformation of the socio-economic landscape. The system is not speaking to the current economic environment and urgently requires redesigning to ensure that it is user friendly.”

The current economic climate which has seen many depend on the informal sector has resulted in the majority not qualifying for mortgage financing.

As part of efforts to ensure that the mortgage system is attractive to home seekers, proposals have also been made for the introduction of stamp duty tax holiday.

“We want a stamp duty that makes the whole mortgage system affordable to every home seeker. Every Zimbabwean’s commitment for shelter is the same as their commitment to religion, no Zimbabwean will default in mortgage the same way they never default on rent.”

The domestic financial services sector which is expected to play a critical role in financing housing development has however been accused of failing to redesign the mortgage system.

Government has also expressed its resolve to re-look some of the outdated by-laws on housing and infrastructure development, to ensure that they speak to current standards.