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PROPERTY – Demand for industrial units down

Staff Writer

DEMAND for large-scale industrial units has waned as Zimbabwe’s manufacturing sector has suffered in the current economic crisis, says international property consultants Knight Frank. <

In its Southern and East African Report for the period ending December 2003 Knight Frank said however, demand was strong for smaller units particularly between 400 and 600 square metres.

The company said entrepreneurs using accommodation for small-scale manufacturing enterprises or even office space fueled this.

In the third quarter of 2003 rents on industrial/warehouse space in Harare stood at $1 500 to $3 000 a square metre a month (US$0,33 to US$0,66), Knight Frank said.

Harare’s prime industrial areas are Graniteside, Southerton, Willowvale and Workington, all situated to the southwest of the city centre.

Bulawayo, the nation’s second largest city’s main industrial areas are primarily situated to the west and southwest of the city centre in Belmont, Donnington, Kelvin, Steeldale and Thorngrove.

Knight Frank said investor participation in the market through the construction process had largely dried up as building costs escalated with a number of schemes having been put on hold.

“Demand for office and retail stock is strongest as investors have attempted to avoid an over exposure to industrial stock in light of the recent weak performance of the manufacturing sector,” Knight Frank said.

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