KCB to invest Shs40b in housing project

A housing estate on the outskirts of Kampala city. KCB has put aside money to help people access financing for construction of housing units. FILE PHOTO

What you need to know:

Shortage. Uganda faces a 1.6 million house deficit, most of this in Kampala

Kampala. KCB Uganda has set aside Shs40 billion which it will invest in financing houses for both the low and up-market clientele, the managing director, Mr Jerom Kiarie, has said.
Speaking in an interview last week after the KCB Uganda bus tour, where several potential clients were exposed to different furnished houses, Mr Kiarie said: “We have put (invested) about Shs40 billion in real estate—financing housing mortgages and we are willing to put even more money.”
He continued: “And the repayment period ranges between 3-10 years, but we can always discuss a win-win situation for both parties.”
This mega investment in the industry, according to Mr Kiarie is twofold; the industry guarantee value for investment, whichever way one looks at it. And it’s one of its portfolios that generate the most return on investment.
Much as this is good news for the industry, the challenge remains the interest rates at which the beneficiaries of the mortgage will have to part with.
For years exorbitant interest rates, sometimes ranging way above 20 per cent have been at the centre of controversy between the industry players such as the real estate developers and the financiers, particularly the banks.
However, Mr Kiarie said this should not be something to worry about as the bank’s rates are not only competitive but they are also open to discussion over the matter.
The KCB property bus tour brought together key players in the real estate industry; engineers, architects, valuers, lawyers, surveyors, real estate developers who are exposed to various real estate projects in Uganda with a view to lure them into developing of high standard projects.
“Our aim is to build solid partnerships with the like-minded investors willing to invest in the sector with a view to reducing housing deficit in the property sub-sector,” Mr Kiarie said.
He continued: “The property bus tour provides a unique platform that allows both established and potential estate developers to meet and share ideas with each other as well as other professionals involved in the real estate industry.”
Uganda has a deficit of 1.6 million houses, 200,000 of which are in Kampala and other urban areas. “We want to strategically help our customers tap into this investment,” says Kiarie “Real estate investment is normally favoured in markets that benefit from an extensive population.