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MASSIVE de-industrialisation in Gweru has forced many property owners to start looking for buyers for their industrial properties due to non occupation.

The Midlands capital, which was once the hub of mining related and agro-process industries, has been left without meaningful industrial investments following the closure of large corporations such as the Zimbabwe Glass Industries, Zimbabwe Alloys and Zimbabwe Castings.

Radar Castings and Kariba Batteries Manufacturers have also not been spared from the company closures.

Trevor Dollar Real Estate director, Victor Wasara, said there has been a surge in property owners wanting to sell industrial properties in the city.

“There is no activity in the industries due to the company closures which have been experienced and we are just leasing out shells and some have now been converted to churches. When it comes to rentals, it is actually the tenants who have the negotiating power,” he said.

“A lot of property owners in these areas have now put their properties on sale since business is no longer lucrative as it used to be when industry was on its feet,” Wasara said.

He said 20 percent of their portfolio involved industrial properties, adding that there was high demand for commercial properties in the Central Business District as well as residential properties.

“Twenty percent of properties up for sale are industrial properties and this figure is high considering that no one would want to shed industrial property in a functioning economy since it’s a cash cow.”

“However, there has been an upsurge demand in properties in the central business district as well as residential properties as people now prefer to safeguard their investments through such assets since they appreciate in value.”

Source : Financial Gazette