Zimbabwean consumers have faced steep rent increases since the turn of the year with the cost of urban accommodations going up as much as 100 percent in some cases.
Beckton Properties Co-Director Mpumelelo Ndlovu said housing costs in most parts of Bulawayo went up 10-15 percent. But in Bulawayo townships costs per room rented went up by a third, to $40 a room from $30. Real estate agents said rents went up by 50 percent in some of the more expensive suburbs of Bulawayo and Gweru.
In Harare, residents who were paying $40-$70 a room for residential housing are now finding landlords demanding from $85 to $150 per room.
Apartments are going for $400 compared with $300 previously.
Ndlovu said agents are raising rents under pressure from landlords feeling the economic pinch. But, "We always advise them to settle for what people can afford to pay."
Oswald Nyakunika, chairman of the Estate Agents Council of Zimbabwe, said his organization had resolved that there would be no business and accommodation rental increases this year due to Zimbabwe’s depressed economic environment.