‘Real estate sector under great threat’


High and rapidly rising cost of construction materials, lack of enforcement of available regulations and Kwacha’s volatility are said to be impeding development of the real estate sector in the country.

In an interview, President of the Surveyors Institute of Malawi (SIM), who is also Managing Director and Country Head for Knight Frank Malawi, Martin Chimangeni said the sector is in a worrisome state.

He also faulted an influx of unregulated service providers whom he said pose a risk to the flow of money, safety of the public while derailing efforts of government agencies against money laundering, crimes and terrorist financing.


He said the cost of construction materials is not in tandem with the rental return and capital appreciation on properties.

“You will notice that people are selling properties at very absurd values which should trigger a red flag and an audit on whether the parties are simply evading tax by submitting lower values while the actual price at which the property exchanged hands is known only to them,” Chimangeni said.

He recommended the establishment of a building authority to govern and oversee all construction works and ensure that there are standards.


Chimangeni further emphasised the need to put in place policies and ways of lowering construction costs such as waivers either specific to items or for a period.

“There may be many tax measures aimed at reducing the cost of construction as we mostly import rather than produce locally.

“We also need to have reliable and affordable energy sources as construction requires more of that. Any loss in fuel supply or power supply has an impact on machines on site for big projects. Malawi Housing and the Ministry of Lands need to develop more in line with the growing population and urbanisation rates,” Chimangeni said.

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