Many owners and landlords are refusing to face our current economic reality and are, with a real shortage of cash, asking unrealistic prices or rentals.
Sales are being achieved despite the current economic constraints, and there is more bond finance available although it is still expensive by international standards (15% over ten years).
Security concerns have made the location of a property even more important than it has been in the past. The lack of clarity about the use of previously residential addresses for commercial use remains a grey area.
Properties where people have to buy water or have limited access to municipal water, are finding it has quite severe effects on the capital value of their homes. Many boreholes that have previously been providing water all year round are now drying up towards the end of the season.
We are finding many homeowners have mislaid documents or even title deeds. Often they don’t realise until they need to sell and are finding themselves held up with legal delays when they need the money.
There are even more people dealing with property sales or rentals informally and owners are not being cautious enough about who they instruct to act on their behalf.
The legal process has become more protracted and it has become increasingly difficult to enforce agreements with tenants. Our current situation has encouraged many people to make informal arrangements with family, friends or acquaintances to resolve their situations. In our current environment this is extremely risky, particularly considering how unscrupulously many people are behaving and how badly many people behave when they have financial problems.
There is a new income tax act that is due to be enforced from the New Year. Details are still being finalized, but it is clear that as well as needing ZIMRA approval to sell or buy a property, that they are determined to collect at least 20-25% of rental.
And a final word of warning: whether selling or renting do not allow occupation of your property without taking advice from a reputable lawyer or agent.