CABS plans to engage corporates on the Budiriro housing scheme as it seeks to improve uptake on the project, managing director Kevin Terry has said.In an interview, Mr Terry said pursuing the Harare City housing list had proved costly as most people on the list are not prospective buyers.

“The challenge we are facing with the project is not necessarily the liquidity challenges, but it is more to do with affordability by people who want to borrow. We are facing challenges with the City of Harare housing list, as people on the list cannot necessarily afford to buy housing.

“We are now looking at working with some corporates that want to provide housing for their employees and probably help with either a deposit or guarantee. It is imperative that we improve the uptake of the houses as we still have more available land in Budiriro,” he said.

CABS has so far completed 985 housing units under its first phase in Budiriro and the bank requires between $6 000 and $7 000 as deposit for one to qualify for the scheme.

The bank also requires the applicants to be first time buyers; and must be on the City of Harare waiting list with a regular income of at least $756 per month; a bank account with CABS; proof of ability to raise 25 percent deposit and legal fees of about 10 percent for transfer and bond registration fees. Mr Terry said CABS is also looking at extending some of the units to make them more attractive to prospective buyers.

“As a way of improving the uptake, we are considering adding two more rooms to the two-roomed units. The four-roomed houses have sold well but the two rooms units are dragging behind. This simply means our clients find more value in the four-roomed houses as they provide them with more value. We had thought people would go for the cheaper ones and make the extensions themselves, but clearly we were wrong,” he said.

Looking ahead, Mr Terry said CABS is negotiating for more lines of credit. We are always looking for lines of credit for housing development; however our major concern is are there sufficient people earning enough money to afford to buy a house? We do not want to keep building houses that have a low uptake,” he said. – Wires


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