KAMPALA – The growth of Kampala’s prime real estate sector has spilled over into the sub-urban areas of Wakiso district where the industry is experiencing a fundamental transformation through improved quality and standards.
This is according to a newly-launched real estate sector report, compiled by Stanbic Properties Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited.
The report, released this week was conducted for the period ending December 2021.
Traditionally, the formal retail sector was concentrated in Kampala’s central business district and a few high-end residential areas in the peripherals particularly Naalya, Lubowa, and Entebbe.
But during the survey researchers found both the burgeoning retail sector and high-end residential homes shifting to Wakiso district.
Interestingly, the report also noted a massive uptake of condominium houses both in Kampala and Wakiso. A condo is a privately-owned individual unit within a community of other units.
Barefoot Lawyers, an online Legal Services Provider in East Africa, defines a condominium as a housing unit where each resident owns their separate unit space. There is collective ownership over shared spaces such as corridors, security, recreation areas (rooftop, green areas), driveway, and parking. There is no individual land ownership with condominiums.
The uptake of condominiums is according to the report being driven primarily by the increasing purchasing power of the working-class, who predominantly reside in these areas.
Mr. Abbas Rasheed, the general manager, of Universal Multipurpose Enterprises, a company that deals in residential housing in the form of condominium apartments says in the near future, condos will widely be adopted by everyone citing its affordability in terms of payment options.
“We build for Africa so we understand the market,” Rasheed whose company won the East African Property Awards 2020-2021 for the Best Architectural Multiple Residence as well as for Best High-rise Development in Uganda said, adding that:
“Condos appeal to families with a broad spectrum of income levels, living or working in or around Kampala and Wakiso as well as Ugandans in the diaspora,” says Rasheed whose firm he says is drawing on Uganda’s potential as one of Africa’s leading business, leisure, and fashion hubs to tap into opportunities leading to rapidly-growing international markets.
“We are implementing our strategy to make our high-growth businesses independent profit centres and will continue to build smart cities of the future,” he adds.
At a recent event, experts also advised Ugandans to take up condominium properties instead of investing in homes that are way out of Central Business District.
“I think condos are the future because land in cities is getting expensive. We have a traditional view of every Ugandan wanting to own a house and garden. But you can only expand outwards so people are starting to build far out of town. It takes people two hours to get home and two hours to return. That is time you can use for developing your business,” business mogul Sudhir Ruparelia said.
He also added that condominiums come with more advantages apart from proximity including security and management.
“A condominium also secure. You are not exposed. Anybody who wants to come and rob you will think twice. Insecurity in the suburbs is a big issue. That will push people into condos,” he added.
Ugandan government enacted the Condominium Property Regulations in 2002 to regulate condos. The latest data has shown that Ugandans are embracing them nearly 20 years later. And given Uganda’s short supply of housing, this is important, according to available data.
For a country with the world’s fastest-growing population at 3.5% per annum, condos could be the solution to Uganda’s Impending Housing Crisis.
With the current construction rate standing at 60,000 units per annum, experts warn of an eight million housing deficit in ten years.
Experts are also calling for more sensitization of the public to invest in land-saving condominium projects.
According to Knight Frank, a leading real estate property and consultancy firm, Kampala has the most expensive housing in Uganda. The average two-bedroom apartment in Kampala is UGX 170m and the average three-bedroom is UGX.500m.