Kampala: The Ugandan government has been urged to fast-track a policy that will regulate the housing sector to incentivize the private sector to invest in quality, low-cost homes that the majority of Ugandans can afford.
According to Uganda’s Financial Sector Development Strategy (FSDS), the country has a housing deficit of Shs 1.6 million, with an increasing annual demand of between 180,000 and 210,000 units. Many Ugandans live in semi-permanent houses, particularly in urban slums and in the hinterland.
According to Nationwide Properties Ltd, one of the leading property developers in Uganda, this is because the property sector is unattractive to many private sector players due to high taxes and lack of policy. housing.
“The housing sector is unregulated, which means there are no standards in place that authorities can enforce. This requires a housing policy to be in place,” says Nationwide Properties Ltd.
The real estate giant adds that current taxation by the government is also stifling the sector.
Businessmen Minex Karia and Pradip Karia are the masterminds behind Property Services Ltd and Nationwide Properties Ltd, all in Uganda.
Real estate players pay an 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) and a 6% withholding tax to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Local governments also collect property taxes which are determined by the respective local councils.
This, according to Nationwide Properties Ltd, is very prohibitively expensive.
He is also urging financial institutions to lower mortgage lender interest rates.
“Anyone who borrows from lending institutions for a mortgage should get a loan at affordable rates. The current rate of 17 to 20% is too high. We have many taxes that should be merged into one tax like in India (10%),” says Nationwide Properties Ltd.
Nationwide Properties Ltd says that while it recognizes the need for taxation to support economic development, it advocates for deferred taxation of low cost housing as a strategic plan for a wider tax base in the future.
“It’s a way of boosting Build Uganda Buy Uganda (BUBU) which is growing steadily,” the company says.
Over the past 10 years, Nationwide Properties Limited, under its Royal Palms brand, has built residential properties in Kampala, Uganda in the ‘rental’ and ‘sale’ markets.
They have built over 500 luxurious residential houses in Mulago, Kololo and Nasakero, Mbuya and now Butabika. Some houses have been purchased while others are available for rent.
The company says that given rapid rates of population growth and urbanization, a growing need for housing could overwhelm cities in the near future.
Asked what makes Nationwide Properties stand out in the market, the company’s director says: “Our approach to building new homes is based on a unique set of principles that ensure we are the nation’s leading residential developer. . You can expect the highest level of service.
Our residences are built with the customer at heart, ensuring that we provide the highest quality of amenities and services. Our understanding of customer needs and requirements makes the home buying process a smoother and less stressful experience.