Harare central business district death continues


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The rich will compete harder for high-end residential properties, demand for suburban office space will keep rising, while demand for industrial and retail space firms. As for the Harare CBD, its rapid death will continue.

This is according to recent assessments of the Zimbabwe property market by two leading players in the sector, Knight Frank and Mashonaland Holdings (Mashold), which give an insight into the state of the economy.

According to Knight Frank, most of the office space in the Harare CBD is empty.

“With persistent issues regarding parking, street vendors and high levels of pollution, coupled with the increased rents, demand for CBD office space has fallen sharply, leaving voids of around 60% on average,” Knight Frank says in its latest report on the African property market.

Mashold agrees, and says CBD property owners are carving up their spaces into smaller units, a sign of the dominance of informal businesses in the economy.

“The office sector however remains subdued, particularly in the CBD, with new lettings being recorded through innovative solutions providing flexible and miniaturised office space,” Mashold says in its latest half-year report.

But the picture is different in other parts of the sector.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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