By Petronella Sibeene
Estate agents in Namibia are feeling the pinch of depressed sales in the housing sector resulting from high interest rates and inflation that appear to have driven potential home buyers underground as the credit crunch takes its toll.
Not too keen to have her name mentioned, one estate agent confessed in an interview that the local housing sector never suffered such a cruel blow in terms of slow business, as is the case this year when sales are at a record low.
“I have been in this industry since 2005 and never have we experienced tough times as now,” said the Windhoek-based estate agent.
She said the situation is gloomy for estate agents who solely depend on property sales to make a living.
“It is tough especially for those without a second job. The high interest rates have turned away prospective buyers of houses and we are in for it,” she added.
“It’s absolutely quiet. There is nothing happening. In fact, I can no longer make a living out of this,” commented another estate agent who also refused to be identified.
Although the situation has not yet reached a point where jobs are threatened, the source says it would be inevitable in the long run if the current economic state prevails.
The source revealed that in 2007, she was able to sell at least seven houses during the first four months of the year but since January this year, she only sold one house.
“The industry is going down and only those with back-up systems (second job) can survive,” she reiterated.
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