By Ntokozo Nkambule
1. Eswatini Housing Board (EHB) has recently partnered with Eswatini Bank and Ensure Insurance Brokers. Tell us about this partnership, what it is, and what it entails exactly.
EHB continuously works toward providing affordable quality housing solutions to assist Emaswati in their home ownership journey. EHB has partnered with Eswatini Bank and Ensure Insurance Brokers in a collaborative effort to enable Emaswati to own property and safeguard their valuable possessions through affordable insurance packages.
· Eswatini Housing Board – Is offering a subsidy for transfer costs, wherein customers are not paying any monies on account of transfers from the Seller to the Purchaser. EHB will cover the costs, which are estimated to be between 6% – 8% of the property value.
· Eswatini Bank – When buying a residential property, be it a plot or house from EHB through the Eswatini Bank housing finance facility, you will not be required to pay an upfront deposit.
· Ensure Insurance brokers – A property buyer gets affordable insurance premium rates from an insurance provider of their choice, to protect the value of their home, belongings, and comforts.
2. How long will this partnership last, and is it specifically for your Woodlands plots and properties or will we see similar partnerships going forward?
· This partnership will last until December 2023.
· Since EHB’s current project is Woodlands Township Ext.2, this partnership is applicable to properties sold at Woodlands Township Ext.2. EHB is optimistic that similar partnerships will be established for future projects earmarked for development.
3. Since Eswatini Bank will provide aspiring homeowners a finance facility for a 0% deposit. Is there a limit on this option or does the 0% apply to all property and plot prices?
This assistance applies to EHB residential properties, be it a plot or a house. However, this assistance is not extended to commercial properties.
4. Is the decision to partner with Eswatini Bank and offer this facility of 0% deposit motivated by the fact that you have realized that EmaSwati largely do not afford property deposits?
EHB has been a property developer for over 30 years, and the main reason we have been able to consistently meet the housing needs of emaSwati is that we consistently engage with our customers. Every product and service provided by EHB is based on thorough research and customer feedback.
There are a variety of challenges prospective buyers face when pursuing the dream of owning a home, which include the inability to afford the cost of the property itself, the scarcity of suitable land, etc, also, transfer costs, and upfront deposit payments which have been a stumbling block for a lot of aspiring homeowners. The main reason for that is that these payments are required upfront.
The collateral needed to initiate a mortgage loan can range from 10% to 30% of the property value which is a considerable sum of money that the average liSwati may not have readily available.
To make the homeownership dream come true and less of a burden, EHB decided to assist emSwati by paying for transfer costs and further partnered with Eswatini Bank to provide affordable financing solutions by eliminating the requirement of an upfront deposit payment.
5. Under this partnership are all the properties to be sold exempted from transfer and stamp duty costs?
There is no legal exemption but EHB is currently running a campaign where it pays the due transfer costs when one buys land from any of the townships currently being sold by EHB.
6. If clients want to purchase one of your properties or plots using the Eswatini Bank facility, are they also compelled to use Ensure Insurance Brokers for their insurance needs or they are free to use an insurer of their choice?
Insuring your home and household contents is very important but often taken for granted. A homeowner spends years preparing and saving for their perfect home and despite all the security & protection measures we put in place, there is always a risk of theft, damage, and natural disasters.
Ensure Insurance brokers is a representative of 5 insurance providers in Eswatini, namely Eswatini Royal Insurance Corporation, Oracle Insurance, Lidwala Insurance, United Holdings, and Phoenix Assurance. This means Ensure is the intermediary who solicits or negotiates insurance terms for the customer with their preferred insurance provider, Ensure is not an insurance provider.
The partnership between Ensure and EHB is designed to guarantee affordable insurance premium rates for a tenant or property buyer who buys a home from EHB. This does not mean that the property buyer is forced to use Ensure as a broker; A homeowner is free to choose any broker of their choice provided they offer a cost-effective solution to their eminent needs.
This partnership is also intended to enable liSwati to have access to affordable means of securing his/her most valuable investment.
Please note the article first appeared in Eswatini Property Review, our sister publication.