Ugandans shunning Mortgages


KAMPALA, UGANDA-  The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) Managing Director Richard Byarugaba has said many Ugandans because of not being safe in their jobs are fearing to take up the different mortgage products hence creating a setback in Uganda’s real estate sector.


Byarugaba, who was speaking  during the second edition of Innovation Series at the Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala, added that there is a growing shift of people running away from permanent employment into contracts.

“Mortgage uptake is very low. People are fearing to take it up. They still prefer the traditional methods of buying land, sand and construct slowly and in this bigger real estate projects are affected,” said Byarugaba.

The Second Edition of Innovation Series  focused on showcasing and discussing affordable and innovative real estate solutions and products aimed at addressing the current deficit in housing and lowering the cost of building homes and commercial houses. The theme for this edition was, "Making Real Estate Ownership a Reality: Practical Innovations for Uganda".

Byarugaba wondered whether such disruptions won’t affect the sector in the long run, with projections showing the e-Commerce may soon render the construction of Shopping Malls irrelevant.

However, Mathias Katamba the Managing Director Housing Finance Bank was of a view that if developers construct affordable houses through the use of cheaper technologies, mortgage uptake will go up.

“Local Authorities must join the up scaling of the real estate sector. Let home ownership be part of everyone’s saving plan,” said Katamba.

Katamba, who said his Bank can fund Mortgage uptake 100% urged developers to get beyond the perceived middle class and target the informal sector which is generating billions and billions of shillings.

Samuel Mabala the Commissioner for Housing Settlement in the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development said both the National Land Policy, that creates zonal offices for processing land titles easier and cheaply, and the National Housing Policy, that facilitates the adequate housing for all Ugandans and increase the housing stock and quality are in the offing.

“High levels of unemployment and poverty is a deterrent factor to Mortgage promotion. We need a serious shift in terms of financial literacy, have commitments to long-term savings and increase housing for public servants, those that leave in wetlands, vulnerable people and homeless to access decent housing,” said Mabala.