Patrick Bitature, the chairman of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, has asked government to deal with the bureaucracy and red tape within such institutions such as the Land Board and Kampala Capital City Authority to spur growth within the real estate sector.
Speaking recently during the KCB property bus tour in Kampala, Bitature said: “Getting official documents from such institutions to put up a property takes such a long time, which discourages investors.” He added: “If we are to encourage growth in the sector, such issues must be addressed quickly.”
Industry figures place Uganda’s total mortgage book at $150m compared to Kenya’s $2bn. Uganda’s mortgage penetration as a percentage of the GDP is at 0.98 per cent. This lags behind other East African counterparts like Rwanda at 2.3 per cent, Burundi at 1.2 per cent and Kenya at 1.88 per cent, according to Africa Housing Finance Yearbook 2013.
Bitature said Uganda needed to catch up with its regional peers and government had a role to play in this.
“For us to encourage investments in the market, the burdens of entrepreneurship must be addressed, he said. He further said: “The tax burden must be reduced. Taxes must be friendly to encourage growth,” adding: “Challenges like Infrastructure, roads, electricity, water and sewerage must be solved. The private sector has been left on its own.”
The KCB property bus tour brings together key players in the real estate industry, engineers, architects, valuers, lawyers, surveyors, and real estate developers to tour various real estate projects in Uganda in a bid to expose them to high-net worth projects.
“Our aim is to build solid partnerships with realtors and other likeminded investors with the aim of reducing the existing housing deficit in the property sub-sector,” said Joram Kiarie, the managing director of KCB.
Kiarie said the bank is willing to work with investors who need finance for property.
“Real estate investment is normally favoured in markets that benefit from an extensive population with a burgeoning middle class which offers a healthy growth rate and real opportunity for real estate.”
Source : The Observer