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Over the years, the residential market has shifted. Whereby demand has shifted from large sized houses to clusters and townhouse developments1. This is a view supported by Chihota (2022)2, who states that “Society is facing two trends. Firstly, the old family home on 4000-8000 sqm is redundant, and the pressure on the ‘asset rich cash poor’ surviving spouse is real. Secondly, our Zimbabwean families are getting smaller, and the diaspora, a key cluster buyer subset, is exposed to international standards and readily buys these lock-up-and-go properties.” 

It has been widely reported that the Harare mayor considers densification to be the “in thing.” In Zimbabwe, human settlements have been governed by the Zimbabwe National Human Settlements Policy, which calls for the construction of flats, cluster houses, and subdivisions of low-density lots.3

The primary advantage of cluster housing is the sense of community that it raises. Because the homes are built near each other, it is easier for residents to get to know each other and form close bonds. This can lead to a stronger sense of belonging and help combat feelings of isolation or loneliness. 

As a result of the demand shift, the City of Harare has decided that all new cluster developments must upgrade the existing drainage systems4because originally, the stand was zoned to cater to one family. After numerous people have converted their properties into cluster houses, the Local Authority has made this policy. 

The newly planned medium-density suburb in the City of Bulawayo, located near Bellevue, incorporates townhouse clusters.5Clusters are the highest and best use in the golden triangle of Harare. 6“ With this view in mind, the stand-alone units may become redundant, as the new housing type becomes more common in the residential market. 

Mukamba Urban Developers is committed to working with those who own land and those hired to develop it, to rethink how our cities should develop for our children. 

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