Apartment complex in Berbera
Always surprised me why Berbera real estate has taken soo long to lift off, even prior to DP World. The only reason I ever hear people mention is the HEAT. People just bought plots some to flip and others with no means to develop. Either way, thats about to change now once the airport, new port, roads to Hargeisa and Burco renovation are complete. An electricity plant which is crucial to deal with the heat, should be a priority and I seem to recall it was part of the DP deal!
Berbera was caught in a vicious cycle 1. Population decline (losing to Hargeisa). 2. Lack of investment in housing due to point #1. 3. Unfavourable temperatures (hard to justify due to point 1# and #2).
But it seems that cycle is being broken now by the investment in infrastructure and sense of hope that there is bigger things to come (what economists call the hype).
In my opinion, Berbera is a blank canvas, I think it has the potential to be designed as a world class city with all the emenities such as park lands, play grounds, beaches, sector based economic precincts and well designed suburbs.
Berbera city leaders need to particularly pay attention how they design the beach front. They should look at successful cities and how they designed their beach front.
Looks like the Brits with brexit looming are looking for opportunities specifically Ethiopia hence their investment in the Berbera corridor and interest in the freezone.
Property developers need to start building apartments more. Utilises land and makes homes more affordable.
I think one of the first things that need to be addressed is the zoning of land in Hargeisa and other big cities.
There should not be a hotel in the middle of suburbia or a factory in the middle of residential area.
Not a office building that is higher than 2 storey in the middle of suburbs.
Anyone who wants to build a 3+ storey building needs to zoned area i.e. Business or commercial zones. Also Factories need to go to Industrial zones.
The second thing is to address the exuberant land values in Central Business area of Hargeisa. It is next to impossible to build anything in the city centre, unless you are millionaire. It shouldn’t be that way. There are too may small shanty-town like buildings in the Central Business area. These need to be forced to sell to those who want to build a bigger more better buildings in the City Centre.
I think one way to do that is introduce ‘rates’ that pegged to the value of the land. For example, if city centre land costs $700/m^2, then the rate for that should be %2.5.
For example, a 20m by 20m land in the city centre would cost based on the above 20x20x$700 = $280,000. A yearly rate of $7000. or 583/month.
What this will do is force anyone who is land banking to sell their property as they won’t be able to afford to service the rate every month.
The bigger the land the more the rate.
This is one way to force prices down, is to force sale of those who are land banking.
Also, the more income for the local government means it can then afford providing services back to those who are paying their rates.
Another approach is to use the Ethiopian model. At least in Addis Abeba, if you want to build a new building, the government itself will look for you a suitable land. The Government owns all land.
They will look at your plans and designs and then give you options where it’s suitable to build. You pay the government rent for the use of land. If in 10 or 20 years later, someone else comes along with a better plan and your building comes up as the best place to build that new building, then the government comes and revokes your least.
I mean, that is a very different system, but something along those lines should be used for Hargeisa. For example, the local government should be able to match your plans/designs with the city’s sky line and street appeal and match you with land owners. You and the landowner negotiate a price, if no settlement then the gov’t forces sale.
Those are innovative ideas that will become very necessary as Hargeisa city grows exponentially due to the corridor. I agree fully with the shanty town look in the CBD, goodness I would even ban corrugated iron roofing all together(I know there are cost implications). They have been working on some automated title deed system and addressing system for years now.
SomProperty are redefining homes in Hargeisa. I love their modern styles.
Agree %100 they are pioneers in this field. But its truly tragic they don’t integrate rain harvesting into their homes, it wouldn’t cost that much and with the scarcity of water would go a long way. They also need to utilise the roofs for barbecues, deck chairs and solar panels!