LEADING international property consultants, Knight Frank, says the residential leasing market has seen rental growth above the rate of inflation over the past two years as the availability of le
asing stock has declined significantly.
In its report for the year ended December 31, Knight Frank said by contrast, the sales market had seen an increase in the number of properties on the market, fuelled in part by migration by upper income groups to secure communal developments.
Houses have shot up from about $500 000 in upmarket suburbs in the 1990s to more than $1 billion today, while in the high density suburbs they have increased from about $10 000 to over a $100 million.
Due to high inflation, landlords with properties at the top end of the market were increasingly quoting rents in hard currency.
The tendency was however ruled illegal by Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono when he took office in December.
Sellers were also transacting at hard currency pegged prices with the conversion to local currency being made at the parallel market rate.
Property market analysts say demand is currently strong for cluster houses, town houses and good quality garden flats as they have good security and access to amenities.
Leasing activity on high quality accommodation is largely driven by diplomats and officials of non- governmental organisations due to their ability to pay in foreign currency in lump-sum.
Access to foreign currency has also led to an increased level of purchasing activity from Zimbabweans in the diaspora.