Housing provision and affordability have become one of the biggest problems facing the country.
This concern is not only voiced by the big towns, but in diverse communities across the nation.
The biggest limitation, according to property mogul Archie Graham, is the provision of land and the reluctance of Namibians to live in sectional titles although it has become a norm across the globe.
Graham, who is one of the Jimmey Construction Group directors, says the drive to provide affordable housing in large numbers in urban areas is by densifying.
Densification is a term used within the construction industry to describe the increasing density of people living in cities. Although he is aware of the scepticism towards living in sectional titles, Graham pointed out that the lack of land in urban areas is a hampering factor to affordable housing provision.
“We need to densify to make housing more affordable, through that everyone will have access to housing. The cost of infrastructure and servicing land is high and we know that government does not have money for that.
You see it across the world that as soon as cities expand, they densify,” he said.
With property developers always blamed for the high land and housing prices, Graham has his own views.
Using Windhoek as an example, Graham said the topography of the area plays a big role when it comes to determining the final price of properties.
He also lamented the bureaucracy property developers have to go through for the slow provision of houses in the market.
“We need to be more efficient because the red-tape involved in rezoning land is exhausting, it takes at least two years to do that, unless you pay people under the table to expedite the process, something that we do not entertain of course,” he said, adding that the long wait to get rezoning applications approved is one of the reasons why housing prices are high.
Graham also lamented the ever-increasing cost of land, saying land in Windhoek increases between 15%-20% annually.
“Some years back we bought land in Kleine Kuppe for N$800 000 to build units that we sold for N$650 000 each, a few years later we bought land in the same area and found that the price which was the same size as the one we previously bought, was selling for N$5 million.
This time we were forced to sell the units forN$1.6 million,” Graham explained.
In the past, virtually every patch of land in Windhoek continually sprouted new housing, but this is no longer the case due to the depressed economy.
Graham says this is a perfect opportunity for first-time home buyers.
For first-home buyers who complain about not being able to get into the housing market, Graham, who is member of the Jimmey Construction group, says “now is the right time for first timers to buy a property”.
Graham admits that the market is very difficult for first-home buyers to get into, but indicated that high debt is also a contributing factor.
“In most cases you see that many of the middle-income earners could easily afford a house, but when you bring their debt into the picture it tells a different story. People are so indebted that it pushes houses out of their reach,” he said.
Graham said Jimmey Construction has roped in financial planners to advise potential buyers.
Jimmey Construction Property Developers are currently constructing an array of exclusive terrace and luxury villa houses at the ‘Am Weinberg’ Estate, located in Klein Windhoek.
The estate is one that is far from the usual, as it brings forth an overwhelming top of the range experience that potential customers would not easily encounter anywhere else in the city.
The estate is said to be a first in its class and will stand out as one of Namibia’s most attractive and sought after residential and business destination.
Offering an all in one package of convenience, the public will have the ease of moving from place to place within the same complex that they may find themselves in.
With two of Windhoek’s top restaurants being planted with in the estate, a 5 star spa under the guidance of skilled therapists and an elegant Boutique Hotel with a historic charm to it, ‘Am Weinberg’ will surely become a household name.
Looking onto the cosier side of the estate, ‘Am Weinberg’ also features professionally spacious designed residential properties that bring forth a sense of pure bliss, comfort and modern elegance.
The terrace houses found right before the luxury villas, offer a perfect setting for relaxation. A private deck, patio, three bedrooms and an entertainment areas are all encompassed in the double story terrace house.
The luxury villas offer an open floor plan, four bedrooms, a home office, a patio with a pool and stylish gourmet kitchen that flows through to the dining room.
Who is Archie Graham?
Archie Graham is a determined entrepreneur who parked his electrical engineering degree to venture into the lucrative property development trade.
Graham says his humble beginnings led to him becoming a success in the highly-competitive industry.
Graham entered the property industry around 2001 and has never looked back ever since.
As a boy who spend some of his childhood living in Okakarara while his mother taught at Okakarara Secondary School, Graham didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth.
He says his passion for creativity lured him into property development.