Minister Urges Reintroduction of Long-term Mortgages
Blog - Guest Articles
Minister Urges Reintroduction of Long-term Mortgages

Zimbabwe is facing an urban housing task, with about 50% of urban dwellers being renters. The country has no shortage of land to build houses, the development of new stands is limited, and the available ones are too expensive for most people to afford. The terms of most mortgages are steep, and only a few can afford them. 

The Minister of Public Service, Labour, and Social Welfare, Professor Paul Mavima, has urged building societies to reintroduce long-term mortgages. He believes that this will help make housing more affordable for Zimbabweans, stating that the currently limited mortgage finance available is beyond the reach of most home seekers.

“We want a mortgage system that is going to be affordable to our people,” he said. “It cannot be affordable if it’s five years; it can only be affordable if it is long-term. We need to go back to basics."

Prof. Mavima challenged the National Building Society (NBS) to lead the way in re-establishing proper mortgage financing in Zimbabwe. He also urged them to provide mortgages for 20-30 years so that people starting off in life can find decent and affordable accommodation. The reintroduction of long-term, modest-interest mortgages would help reduce the burden on low-income earners, who might otherwise have to pay almost all their salaries in mortgage payments instead of the 25 to 30 per cent that was the maximum when long-term mortgages were available.

However, there are reservations as to whether the target of 220,000 new houses and flats by 2025 will be achieved. The current economic climate, coupled with the high cost of building materials and a shortage of foreign currency, may make it a real challenge for builders to reach this target.

The reintroduction of long-term mortgages could help alleviate the housing crisis in Zimbabwe. However, there are significant challenges that need to be addressed to achieve the target of 220,000 new houses and flats by 2025. This can be achieved through the  government and the private sector working together to provide affordable and decent housing for all Zimbabweans.