What you need to know:
While there may be other reasons why one chooses to rent in a particular location, the rent and related costs play a big role in this choice.
The standard of living is greatly intertwined with cost of living. However, in a world where these are predominantly driven by one’s income, many in the working sector, more so middle managers as well as those that have combed some years in the working environment have many decisions to make.
A government report has indicated that the number of Ugandans who are now classified as middle class citizens stands at 15.64 million, up from 14.12 million during the period ended 2017. This is according to the Poverty Status Report, 2021 compiled by Uganda National Household Survey and the Ministry of Finance.
While there may be other reasons why one chooses to rent in a particular location, the rent and related costs play a big role in this choice. Here is a breakdown of these costs in various suburbs:
Boniface Musiimenta, the director, Musbon Real Estate, says a one-bedroom apartment goes for around Shs700,000 per month, a two-bedroom apartment is at about Shs1m while a three-bedroom apartment is between Shs1.5m and Shs2m. On the other hand, standalone bungalows go for about $1,000 (about Shs3.7m) while studio rooms (single self-contained rooms) are at Shs400,000.
Shopping of food stuff is largely done in supermarkets such as Quality, Metroplex, Nice Price, and Global in this area.
In regards to transport to the central business district, a boda boda is averagely Shs5,000 while a taxi costs Shs2,000.
Looking at the average costs, Najjera is just about a third cheaper than Naalya in terms of rent. A one bed roomed apartment might go for between Shs500,000 and Shs700,000 depending on the size and location. On the other hand, a two-bedroom apartment is between Shs700,000 and Shs1m while a three-bedroom apartment is between Shs1.2m and Shs1.5m.
However, for those that need studio rooms, they are between Shs300,000 and Shs400,000.
In regards to utilities, in some instances, tenants pay the rubbish collection companies separately while in some instances, the landlords see to it on a monthly basis.
However, security is often on the landlords but is always reflected on the rent as those in gated residences pay more than those who are not.
For a better understanding of the cost of living, a conversation with Robert O Buleya, a family head of six living in a two bedroom house, shades some light.
“The money I spend on food lately has increased a great deal. In fact, whenever I can, I shop in bulk from downtown on weekends to minimise the cost,” he says.
Buleya buys a Kilogramme of beef at Shs14,000, chicken for Shs21,000, a Kg goat meat Shs18,000, five sizable tomatoes go for Shs2,000 which basically cook two meals while a cluster of onions costs Shs5,000 .
Seguku Katale is an upcoming residential area with lots of new apartments and bungalows. Here, single rooms are hard to come by lately as house owners continually stay away from constructing such. That said, apartments go for between Shs400,000 and Shs500, 000 for a one bedroom house. Two bedroom houses are between Shs500, 000 and Shs700,000 depending on the location. As bungalows, the ranges do not differ much with the location factor playing a big role.
Public transport costs about Shs5, 000 for a boda boda and about Shs2,000 to Shs3,000 for taxis.
Ibrahim Masoud, director, I.M property services says it is very difficult to find single rooms in these areas. However, the available ones are self-contained and are about Shs300,000.
On the other hand, double roomed apartments go for about Shs700,000 while the bungalows with similar specifics go for about Shs600,000 depending on the location.
Three bedroom apartments go for between Shs1.5m and Shs1.8m and the water bills are catered for.
In these areas, landlords cater to services such as rubbish collection, and security.
However, two bedroom house apartments go for between Shs1.2m and Shs1.5m. Then there is the standalone bungalows and some have boys’ quarters sometimes which go for between Shs2m and Shs4m that also caters for security, water bills and sometimes DSTV.
With no kiosks in the Munyonyo environs except for a few supermarkets, food costs are slightly higher than other areas.
Public transport to the city centre costs about Shs7,000 for a boda boda and from Shs2,000 to Shs3,000 for taxis.
Nonetheless, for those with a family to cater to, here are the grocery costs:
A bunch of matooke is Shs50,000, rice is at Shs6,000, sugar is at Shs5,500, beef is at Shs16,000 per kilo, chicken is Shs30,000 for off layers.
Jordan Kwezi loves that he has the opportunity to stay near his workplace. “That makes commuting easier. Probably something I would advise many who are still renting to consider,” he says.
In Kisugu, a one bedroom house is Shs200,000, two-bedroom house is Shs300,000, while a three bedroom house is between Shs450,000 and Shs600,000. However, these costs depend on the location, and if it is enclosed or not.
Rubbish collection in these areas is Shs5,000 per month.
In regards to transportation, a taxi is Shs1,500 while a boda boda is Shs5,000
A bunch of matooke is Shs40,000, rice is at Shs5,500, posho is Shs3,000 per kilo, sugar is at Shs5,000 (not factory packed), beef is at Shs16,000 per kilo, pork is Shs15,000 while Nile perch is Shs20,000 per kilo.
Milka Opio has been in Kirinya for more than five years in what she describes as an older home, compared to many of those around her. She shares that homes akin to hers go for Shs400,000 for a one bedroom house, Shs500,000 for a two-bedroom house while a three bedroom house is between Shs700,000 and Shs800,000. However, the rent increases if the house is in a gate as well as for the newer establishments.
Rubbish collection is Shs30,000 on a monthly basis.
In regards to transportation, taxi is Shs3,000 while boda is Shs7,000.
In regards to groceries, Matooke is Shs1,000 for four fingers, rice is at Shs4,200, sugar is at Shs8,000, beef is at between Shs14,000 and Shs15,000 per kilo, chicken is Shs25,000 and Shs35,000 for off layers while broilers are Shs15,000, cooking oil is Shs5,000 for half a litre.
Rita Nakirya has been in this area for more than 10 years and has watched the rent prices skyrocket. Starting out, her two bedroomed house was Shs350,000.
However, today, this is at Shs700,000. On the other hand, a one bedroomed house is Shs500,000, while the three bedroomed house is Shs700,000 for bungalows.
A one bedroomed house is Shs700,000, two bedroomed house is Shs800,000 while the three bedroomed house is Shs900,000 for apartments. However, the rent is lower for older houses while bigger houses also ask for more as these are rare, save in older establishments.
Rubbish collection is sometimes done at a common collection point and the landlord takes it on from there. However, in other homesteads, it is Shs5,000 per month.
Public transport costs about Shs3,000 for a taxi to Kampala and Shs5,000 for a boda boda ride.
A bunch of matooke is Shs50,000, rice is at Shs6,000 per kilogramme, posho is Shs4,000 per kilo, sugar is at Shs5,500, beef is at Shs16,000 per kilo, chicken is Shs30,000 for off layers while broilers are Shs20,000.
Christina Kalema has been in these environs since her childhood. However, this time, she must fend for herself and here is the rent spectrum. A one bedroomed house costs Shs400,000, two-bedroomed house costs Shs600,000 while the three bedroomed house is about Shs800,000.
Monthly rubbish collection takes out another Shs7,000.
In regards to transport, taxi cost is Shs2,500 while boda is Shs6,000.
In the case of groceries, the costs are:
A bunch of matooke is Shs50,000, a Kg of rice costs Shs6,000, posho is Shs4,000 per kilo, sugar is at Shs5,500, beef is at Shs16,000 per kilo, chicken is Shs30,000 for off layers while broilers are Shs20,000.
Therefore, before you make that rather crucial decision on where to seek for a home to rent, precariously think through some of these cost implications.