Wednesday June 13 2018

Places attracting big money in Uganda

Places attracting big money Uganda real estate

A man walks past a house in Agenda, Namugongo. Namugongo is one of the top selling areas in Uganda. Photo by Alex Esagala. 

By EDGAR R. BATTE

Housing is a necessity that each one of us works towards having or achieving, be it on rental basis or full ownership. The common denominator is always land.
June is here, splitting the year by half. Land brokers and real estate developers are on the look out for houses to rent or land to develop.

There are places whose rating is high in terms of attracting buyers and the price tags attached to the land is high making them competitive. This is dependent on how developed a place is in terms of amenities such as water, access roads, and proximity to attractions or conference facilities that draw in both local and foreign visitors.

Alex Baingana, a proprietor and head salesman at Bai Property Limited. He buys land, builds housing units on it, which he rents and when a willing buyer expresses interest in the property, he sells it to them.
Baingana says Buziga is one of the areas attracting buyers this year given their prime location.

The cost
“A 12-decimal piece of land in Buziga will attract Shs170m in a good location but lower if someone is willing to settle on Kabaka’s land where the same size of land will cost about Shs110m,” Baingana explains.
Buziga is approximately 12 kilometres from the city centre, and as Denis Jjuuko, a real estate businessman says any area within 50 kilometres will attract a good fee and as such, is currently sought after by those willing to acquire land.
“The nearer, the better but even further away you get value for money. However, further away is for those who think long term,” Jjuuko explains.

Kira is less than 15 kilometres from Kampala and an area in which Phillip Muhoja, has operated in for the last seven years as founder and director of Spectrum Properties.
He says the areas such as Namugongo, Kyaliwajjala, Nalya, and Sonde are drawing a lot of interest from land buyers owing to a number of reasons, one of which is affordability.
Muhoja says a 12-decimal, or 50 by 100 feet piece of land in those areas can attract between Shs70 and Shs80m.

Organised neighbourhood
“Kira has particularly attracted many buyers because it is more organised and has recently been granted a municipality status. The road network has also been improved,” Muhoja observes.

All the land in Kira is titled because there is no lease of mailoland. As such, Muhoja says people feel safer buying such land. This has also contributed to an increase in the number of land developers and real estate dealers in the Kira areas and the neighbouring places. He adds that accessibility is another seller for the areas.

Development
A site visit in many of the mentioned areas shows activity pointed towards development, with demarcated plots of land, busy construction sites, real estate signposts to advertise land on sale as well as finished houses in organised and semi-organised neighbourhoods.

Paul Ssemakadde, a broker in Kitetika, says there is a lot of interest in Gayaza because it is accessible with its linkage to Kira and Ntinda.
“Anyone buying land in Gayaza, does not have to worry about mapping their way to and away from home. This has helped boost the cost of plots here. Depending on location and one’s bargaining power, one can acquire a piece of land for between Shs30m and Shs60m,” the broker explains.

Comparatively, Ssemakade says a plot of land in Gayaza would fetch between Shs30m and Shs35m. Another place that is attracting buyers is Kigo, which Baingana says is selling like hot cake owing to the newly constructed Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway.

Also, it is close to Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, which is a hub of local and international conferences that sometimes call for more hospitality facilities that spill or prefer to be accommodated at Lake Victoria Serena Golf Resort & Spa, in Kigo.
“The golf course at the hotel has also become an attraction for the rich and sporty,” Baingana adds. The lake resort is also a venue for weddings and honeymooners who like its pristine nature given its interface with Lake Victoria.

Jjuuko adds: “There are also new developments on islands and lake shores actually in Mukono but facing Munyonyo where new major developments are taking place... these areas are going.”
Garuga, located on Entebbe Road is an area he also points to, estimating that villas there could go for as much as $1.2m (about Shs4.5b).

“Garuga area is going to be as hot because there is a huge estate being built there. So, those who won’t afford to buy from that estate would be able to get around there,” the real estate businessman adds.

Outside the traditional scope, located within the areas close to Kampala, Baingana and Muhoja point to places beyond Kira for those who do not mind going the distance in search of land to settle on. To the list of outbound areas, Jjuuko adds Bukereere, after Seeta.

Tips on buying land
Sadat Anwar Nakibinge says when you decide on buying land, consider the distance of the plot of land from your work place or the city centre, as well as accessibility and level of development. He also advises investing time in making sure you are buying land at an honest price before deciding to make a given payment.

Real estate dealer Solomon Katongole says for one interested in investing in property business, it is important to pay attention to detail during the verification process and not be rushed to make a decision to buy or sale. The details are usually what help you to detect forgeries and shoddy deals.

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