Ugandans Prefer Rent Over Purchase

Ugandans are looking for houses to rent rather than to buy, Shakib Nsubuga, the Country Manager of Lamudi (Uganda) said last week.

Lamudi is an online portal that sells properties has said, basing on transactions registered on their website.

He said, “Ugandans like renting as compared to owning houses. Even property developers are building residential and rentals because of the demand. In the same manner Ugandans prefer houses to apartments.”

Nsubuga, whose online portal is a marketplace for property, said commercial properties are a risky investment due to the turbulent economic times being experienced globally.

He was speaking to East African Business Week in an interview during their firm’s first anniversary. Lamudi also has a presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and last year entered the Uganda market.

Suzan Mumbua, Lamudi’s Public Relations Manager for East Africa said Uganda lacks a transparent system or clear process for buying and selling land.

She said this is due to differing land tenure systems in the country and this makes it more convenient to rent a house to avoid the hassle of owning land or a property.

She said the market needs more affordable properties for rent because people are not economically confident enough to buy houses.

She said while in Uganda people prefer to rent, in Kenya, people are paying to own properties because interest and mortgage rates are low.

She said houses in Rwanda are the most expensive in the region while in Tanzania the market is balanced on the demand side people are paying to rent and ownership.

Increased internet penetration has also driven entrepreneurs, including real estate dealers, to take their businesses online so that they can reach more and potential customers with just a click.

Nsubuga said buying and selling online is a convenient and cheap marketing tool. It has a global reach and is taking shape in Uganda.

Mumbua said Kenya has highest number of property listings on Lamudi portal which stand at 20,000. Kenya also has the highest social media presence.

Uganda is in second place followed by Tanzania and Rwanda.

Mumbua predicts the industry is heading for a time when there will be numerous online property traders using new technologies like virtual 3D effects to enable customer inspect properties without going to the site. Customers avoid inconveniences.

Lamudi was founded in 2013. In addition to the Philippines the platform is currently already available in Algeria, Bangladesh, Colombia, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Uganda.

Source : East African Business Week

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