Cabs grants loans worth $9,7b

Ngoni Chanakira

THE Central Africa Building Society (Cabs) granted $9,7 billion worth of loans between June 30 and July 1 this year.



“>A spokesperson for the company said the figures for 2002/2003 were impressive, representing a 117,32% increase on $4,5 billion lent over the same period in 2001/2002.


She said the building society had a total mortgage portfolio of $14,7 billion spread over an excess of 19 000 loan accounts, 11 898 of which were secured by properties in high-density areas.


Cabs have 44% of the Zimbabwe mortgage share market.

She said in the current high inflation environment, the demand for real assets as a hedge against inflation increases and for this reason property is a desirable investment.


Inflation stands at 399,5% for July but analysts predict it could continue soaring to reach 500% by year-end.


She said the mortgage portfolio at Cabs was one of increasing value and interest to the society.


“Another interesting inflation related fact is the dramatic rise in the cost of building in both high and low-density areas,” she said. “In September the cost of building in a Harare low density area was $127 650 per square metre and by June 2003 the cost of building had risen to $400 000 per square metre.


In Harare high density areas the cost in September 2002 was $37 425 per square metre and by June 2003, this figure had risen to $200 000 per square metre”.


She said as of now the cost of building materials had increased by more than 200%. Senior manager (mortgages) Junah Mpofu says there are variations in building costs from one town to another.


“Building costs are highest in Harare due to demand outstripping supply because it is the capital city,” she said.


“Mutare is the next most expensive town to build in because most materials other than the timber are sourced from outside the town. Costs in Bulawayo and Gweru are lower than the other two towns because Bulawayo is almost self-supporting in terms of its own manufacturers such as Portland Cement, Tregers and Zimtiles. Gweru is within reasonable reach of Bulawayo for these materials”.


She said as always, Cabs strive to offer comprehensive and high quality service in the changing parameters of business in Zimbabwe.