- The middle class has so far been excluded from participating in the property market because of exorbitant prices. Property prices under sectional title are anticipated to range from E350 000, which changes the game and enables the middle class to own and invest in property. Worth mentioning is that these opportunities fall under title deed
It is an open secret that property is expensive in the Kingdom of Eswatini. In actual fact, it is more expensive than some affluent suburbs in South Africa. Now, there are a number of reasons for this problem. The Sectional Titles Act which was passed in 2018 in the country, is arguably the best way solve this problem. The Ministry of Housing & Urban Development has promised that the Act will operational by the first quarter of this year.
So what is sectional title, and how does it achieve this? Sectional title refers to the separate ownership of units or unit from a complex or development. An example in the country is the Liqhaga flats in Manzini; where an individual can own a separate unit from the development. This leads to a dramatic decrease in the price of property. Eswatini is one of the few countries in the region that had not passed this Act. Botswana, South Africa and Namibia have all seen their property sector and economies flourish because of Sectional Title. Seeff Eswatini’s Licensee Anthony McGuire notes that the biggest demographic in the country with buying is the middle class, which encompasses people employed by mostly parastatals. As things stand, this demographic has been shut out of the property market. They simply cannot afford property at current prices. Most have resorted to build in rural areas as plots can range from as low as E15 000, making it affordable for them. This, in most cases is not their first option, but they simply cannot afford the prices. Sectional Title will however, lead to the market having properties in price ranges of E350 000. This is the price bracket which will now enable the middle class to afford owning property.
Sectional Title also has a huge multiplier effect, it does not only empower individuals but the economy at large. When the Act gets operational, the entire industry will benefit, from banks who will suddenly have a number of mortgage applications. Insurance is another sector that will benefit immensely as all sectional title schemes will be insured. Sectional Title units also come with monthly levies paid by the owners, this translates to money for municipalities. This is just one of the few benefits, there are many others provided by this missing puzzle in the property space.