CABS injects US$6m into Byo housing projects

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LEADING mortgage lender Central African Building Society (CABS) says it has invested in excess of US$6 million in Pumula South and Nkulumane housing stands with the combined uptake, including the Budiriro housing scheme, seen at over 90% by year-end.

The ground breaking ceremony for the 1 080 stands was held last week in Bulawayo.

CABS managing director Simon Hammond told businessdigest on the sidelines of the signing ceremony for a US$25 million facility jointly underwritten by CABS and the African Development Bank (AfDB) that there has been renewed interest in its stands and the Bulawayo project will help close the housing backlog.

CABS plans to sell serviced stands in Bulawayo. Under this scheme, qualifying buyers will have access to mortgage finance from CABS.

The model will give house owners an option to build housing units of their own choice at their own pace.

CABS is set to build over 2 700 housing units in Bulawayo’s Nkulumane high-density suburb with the construction of the houses under the project which is being done under the Old Mutual Housing Fund aimed at easing accommodation challenges in the country.

Meanwhile, Hammond said the Budiriro housing scheme’s uptake is now at 50% after the bank reviewed the offer terms last year and 15 to 20% of the people are already in the houses but on a rent-to-buy basis. The review followed a slow uptake which characterised the project as people could not afford the deposit.

Hammond said there has been increased demand on the housing project and the bank is targeting 90% uptake for both projects by year end.

“The uptake has now gone up and 15 to 20% of the people are already in the houses being on a rent-to-buy basis because they could not afford the initial deposit. As long as they continue paying the rentals they will eventually settle the deposit and at the end of the day we are good to go,” he said.

In 2013, CABS partnered the Harare City Council in the US$15 million project which resulted in the construction of 2 800 houses, but uptake of the units had been low due to the stringent purchase terms, which are out of the reach of most low-income earners.

Initially, home seekers were expected to pay about US$5 000 deposit for two-roomed houses that were being sold for US$22 000, and US$7 000 for the four-roomed houses whose total cost was US$27 000. The deposit requirements were reduced in 2015 to 10% from 25% of the total house value. — Staff Writer.

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