AR and govt land deal a temporary saving grace: FNB

WINDHOEK: The recent deal between government and the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement will only act as a temporary saving grace for land, averting a crisis and appeasing potential investors to the Namibian market.

First National Bank (FNB) Namibia Holdings Limited Market Research Manager Daniel Kavishe in the latest housing index for the month of April 2015 raised the concern that any significant drop in prices would take a while before coming into effect.

“The proposed deal to service land at nationwide level should help lift the current strain, but not with immediate effect. It comes a few minutes shy of late with current property prices elevated and still ballooning,” he cautioned in the index that was issued on Thursday.

The movement, led by expelled Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) members – Job Amupanda, Dimbulukeni Nauyoma and George Kambala – has first threatened to occupy land if the government does not allocate plots to landless young Namibians by 31 July this year. Under its leadership, about 50 000 applications for land have been submitted by landless youth to local authorities and municipalities countrywide. The government has responded favorably in this regard, given the indication of a strong willingness by President Hage Geingob to engage and dialogue with the leaders of the AR movement. The mass urban land servicing project is part of the agreement between the AR movement and Government where a commitment to service 200 000 erven countrywide was made more than two weeks ago. A massive urban land servicing project was earmarked for the capital, Oshakati and Walvis Bay as from 29 July until 05 August 2015. Land servicing kicked off in the Goreangab area here in the capital last week Friday, but did not yet commenced in other towns.

About the high rent prices, Kavishe lamented that Government’s proposed system of rent controls may be administratively complex and “unfortunately ignores the crucial fact that we could start perpetuating a culture of leasing verses that of ownership.”

“We therefore anticipate that growth in prices will remain at these levels fuelled mainly by favorable yields that the property market is creating for both developers and individual investors,” he added.