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Gated communities give Bulawayo new face

by Staff reporter
03 Aug 2022 at 06:43hrs | Views
FORGET about buying a housing stand, townhouses are the in-thing particularly for property developers building homes in Bulawayo's eastern suburbs.

Modern classic standardised houses are being built in the city's eastern suburbs with architectural designs that can be found anywhere worldwide.

Upon entering some of the townhouses in the city, one can be excused to think they are no longer in Bulawayo.

But unlike in the past where property developers would just service land before selling it to home seekers, they now build houses as part of land value addition.

A Chronicle news crew visited several gated communities where construction is ongoing.

World class standardised houses are being constructed in suburbs such as Kumalo, Parklands, Matsheumhlope within gated communities among other areas.

Private property developers told the news crew that Bulawayo is now following global trends in terms of constructing homes.

A property developer with Natwecraft Investment in Bulawayo, Mr Nkululeko Moyo, said market forces are pushing for the adoption of townhouses in the city.

"I think the demand for town houses is an issue of long-term investment for property developers.

Building townhouses is a matter of adding value to the land while also increasing profit margins.

This is different from just servicing land and selling stands. In building town houses, a property developer can sell the house while also renting out some of the houses.

So over time they recoup their investment as opposed to just getting a fraction through selling of stands," said Mr Moyo.

He said some Bulawayo residents, especially those living in the diaspora, have been exposed to global trends where people live in smaller spaces. Mr Moyo said there is also increased interest in the gated community because of the security they provide.

"There is also this aspect where people live in their own island by their own rules within a gated community where they will make their decisions, have their own water sources for example at Ascot they have their borehole, they will also be having their recreational facilities.

All these things are found within a gated community where they will be having autonomy in the way they do things and even their own security," said Mr Moyo.

Another property developer Mr Metcalfe Mtungwazi of TCI International Private Limited said townhouses conform to the expectations of young property seekers who have smaller families and may not want big acres of land.

"For most property developers, the construction of townhouses is a question of higher returns in terms of investment in the property sector.

Most land developers get good returns when they construct townhouses as opposed to just selling stands. Also, some of the clients want the whole package where they don't just buy a stand but want a complete house," said Mr Mtungwazi.

He said standardized houses are being built in the townhouses which also adds value to the properties.

Mr Mtungwazi said modern exterior and interior architectural designs are also found in the townhouses with property developers bringing international standards locally.

It is said some corporate organisations were also buying town houses so that when their executives travel to Bulawayo they are not housed in hotels but in the premises.

Bulawayo City Council corporate communications manager Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said through town houses, property developers are able to build more houses within a single unit.

"The major reason why property developers prefer construction of townhouses is that they enable construction of a number of residential units in one stand which in turn provide accommodation to more homeseekers.

Townhouse construction maximises on available land and promotes densification in line with the Settlement Policy and National Development Strategy 1(NDS1)," said Mrs Mpofu.

She said stands in areas such as Parklands and Selborne Park have been designated for the construction of townhouses.

"However, owners of stands which meet minimum conditions in terms of stand sizes, especially in low-density areas, can apply for special consent of council for the construction of townhouses," she said.

"Areas which are having townhouses built are concentrated in low-density areas and these include Sunninghill, Riverside, Burnside, Hillside, Suburbs, and Selborne Park.

"Most of the properties in these areas are zoned residential and privately-owned and the owners have applied for Special Consent of Council for the construction of town houses."

Mrs Mpofu said the single entrance gate which has a security guard attracts some homeseekers to townhouses.

"Traffic in a townhouse complex is controlled and monitored and this contributes highly in securing the area," said Mrs Mpofu.

Source - The Chronicle