Despite Namibian households being under increased economic pressure, there is still a need for housing in the market. This statement was shared by Bank Windhoek's Head of Specialist Finance, Saara Shivute, at the Bank Windhoek Coastal Estate Agent Awards hosted on Friday, 14 April 2023, in Walvis Bay.
Shivute added that the most significant barrier to meeting the housing demand is providing and delivering serviced land for development throughout Namibia. “As the only 100% locally owned Namibian financial services provider, Bank Windhoek will always play its part in assisting Namibians in owning the property of their dreams," she said.
During the Awards, Ramos Realtors Namibia, Susan Curtis Estates and Monopoly Housing were announced as the top three coastal estate agencies. Ramos Realtors Namibia, retained the top position this year.
Michelle Herbst of Versatile Realty was announced as the Achiever of the Year in the Commercial category. Lorin Burger from Susan Curtis Estates won the Gold Award for Achiever of the Year in the Residential category. Ramos Realtors Namibia's Claudia Lofty-Eaton won silver, while Velia Liebenberg from Henties Bay Estates came third in the Residential category. Burger and Lofty-Eaton were also recognised for submitting loan business to Bank Windhoek between N$13 to N$18 million. Liebenberg was recognised for bringing in business between N$7 and N$11 million.
Shivute said the Bank has noted that 2022 was challenging, with an interest rate increase of 175 basis points over a short seven-month period. “We further anticipate an interest rate increase announcement on Wednesday, 19 April, adding to existing household pressures," she said. “I am, however, pleased to share that the housing market at the coast experienced a good uptake, which means that amidst the trying times, ordinary Namibians took up the opportunity to get onto the property ladder."
Shivute shared that in 2022, Bank Windhoek financed 101 transactions to the value of N$120 million at the coast. “That is an average of N$1.2 million per unit. With residential properties showing an increase of 10% in value compared with last year," said Shivute.
Aiming for expansion
Asked how business was in 2022, Burger and Curtis said 2022 was excellent. “We had a massive demand from local and foreign buyers for high-end properties. There was also a gradual increase in the first-time homeowner's sector," said Burger. Curtis added that it was beyond expectations. As for the future, the pair aim to continue giving good service and sound advice to all prospective buyers and investors. They plan to expand their business into the commercial, industrial and other sectors.
Burger thanked Bank Windhoek for the excellent service offered to all her customers. “The Bank's home loan consultants we deal with at the coast are fast, efficient and friendly. They make the process much easier," she said. She advised those seeking a home that it is a buyers' market now and an excellent time to buy property. “We have a high demand and low supply of rental properties, so it is the perfect time to buy that well-priced investment property. Remember, you are not buying the property for yourself but as an investment," said Burger.
The Bank Windhoek Annual Estate Agent Awards recognises residential and commercial estate agents, agencies, and developers, from the coastal, central and northern regions, for their commitment, loyalty, and support to Bank Windhoek and its customers. The central region event will take place on Thursday, 20 April 2023, in Windhoek.
Shivute concluded that the Bank is proud to have been a connector of positive change for the owners of properties. She thanked the customers and estate agents for entrusting the Bank with their deals. “We pride ourselves in the relationships we have built with you over the past few years and want to keep working with you well into the future as your property financiers of choice."