By Tawanda Musarurwa
Steward Bank, a unit of Econet Waireless, has launched an innovative housing development scheme, which vertically integrates several of the telecoms giant’s business offerings.
Econet Wireless is a key player in the data space through its internet services subsidiary, ZOL Zimbabwe and the group also operates a solar subsidiary — Distributed Power Africa (DPA).
Additionally, in 2015 Econet Wireless swooped on Redan Gas as it extended its footprint into the energy solutions business; the group also runs a subscription television network — Kwese TV, as well as a home surveillance system — Connected Home.
“In the past week, the bank unveiled its Diaspora Mortgage Scheme in London, having recently completed development of 200 housing units in Ruwa fully-equipped with services such as solar, gas facilities, wifi, Kwese satellite system and home surveillance system,” said Stewart Bank.
“The housing scheme, which is one of many under development by Steward Bank is targeted at addressing the rising demand for quality houses in the country as more investors angle to take opportunities in the property sector.”
The Diaspora Mortgage Scheme will be available at zero deposit, on a 25-year tenure at an interest rate of 2 percent per annum, which is the lowest rate in the local financial services sector.
The Diaspora Mortgage facility ranges from a minimum of $10 000 to a maximum of $400 000.
Steward Bank’s more flexible mortgage offering will contribute to reduce Zimbabwe’s national housing backlog, which has been ballooning in recent years, pushed by the increased rural to urban migration.
The country’s national housing backlog is currently estimated at 1,3 million with Harare alone requiring around 500 000 housing units.
Zimbabwe has been unable to resolve its housing issues due to the onerous terms of developers and the stringent conditions and high cost of mortgage finance among others. The Herald