Not everyone can afford to finance the acquisition of property which will totally belong to them, but there are ways in which one can get to own property without acquiring a mortgage. According to Sethebe Manake, CEO and founder of Vantage Properties, an advisory company specialising on property investment, one needs not to go to the bank to own a piece of property. One the ways which is much simpler is buying shares on listed property companies which will virtually make you an owner as well. There are six property companies listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and all these - Manake said – present a window of opportunity to people to invest in property. Using the above logic, if for instance one buys shares in Turnstar that would mean owning Game City, one the largest shopping malls in the country or buy shares in RDC Properties and own Masa Square Hotel. Manake said owning a property these days is not all about brick and mortar and conventional ways are now available. In addition to buying shares of listed stocks, she said people can take part in crowd-funding. Crowd-funding is a form of financing a project through monetary contributions from a large pool of people and such projects can include property.
Contributors would be paid the principle amount together with a certain interest. The above are regarded as the suitable and alternative form of investments in property as opposed to approaching a lending institution as an individual to acquire funding to finance property acquisition. Acquiring a loan to buy property, for example a residential one and later rent it out would mean that house remains a liability until the loan is fully serviced. Moreover, even rental from that house would not be enough to pay monthly installments. In an engagement with the media on Friday morning, Manake said the property market in Botswana fares well when it comes to legislation compared to other countries where policies can even allow a tenant to claim ownership of property after a certain period. Giving a general picture on the state of the property market in the continent, Manake said Africa’s young population will drive the demand for real estate and the type of real estate. She said industrialisation will continue across the continent accompanied by growth in the retail sector while infrastructure shortage presents an opportunity for investment. In addition to that, she said continued investment within pension funds, stock exchanges and banking regimes will facilitate investment, and an increased range of investors will drive demand for real estate investment opportunities.