Government urged to collaborate & support real estate sector
Real estate experts have implored the government to build a strong condominium housing sector that will create affordable housing and bridge the deficit in the country. Condominiums are housing units on a storied building that can be separately owned by different people/families just like plots of land.
According to Uganda’s Financial Sector Development Strategy (FSDS), the country has a housing deficit of approximately 2.2 million units, with an increasing annual demand of between 210,000 and 250,000 units. Many Ugandans live in semi-permanent houses, especially in urban slums and up country.
According to Nationwide Properties Ltd, one of the leading real estate developers in Uganda, this is because the real estate sector is not attractive to many private sector players due to high taxes and lack of a housing policy.
Under the Condominium Property Act of 2012, a real estate development company can build apartments and sell them and give the buyer a title deed for his property the same way you would sell a house on a plot of land.
Speaking media, Abbas Rasheed, one of the leading realtors said in a country where half the population of 44 million people is under the age of 15, investing in real-estate is one of the best decisions one can make today.
Rasheed who is also the general manager at Universal Multipurpose Enterprises said the government should work with the private sector and create regulations and incentives for firms in the real estate sector.
“We have to think seriously about what affordable housing is. Affordable housing is allowing somebody to pay for a house easily. How can we do that? We can do this by removing taxation, giving some land for free or giving it at an affordable price and maximizing the land by changing the way you construct, from horizontal to vertical,” he said.
He said the problem of Uganda’s housing deficit is solvable, as long as the government works with the private sector.
“The government and the private sector work together on this. They both need to set up or encourage construction of large-scale dwelling units for the ordinary people. It is on those two foundations that a sustainable housing infrastructure can be realized in Kampala, ” Raheed said.
Real estate players pay Value Added Tax (VAT) of 18 percent and withholding tax of 6 percent to the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Local governments also collect property taxes that are determined by respective local councils.
Buidnet’s Real Estate Development
Buildnet says whereas it recognizes the need for tax to support economic development, it appeals for delayed taxation in low-cost housing as a strategic plan for a wider tax base in future.
For the last 10 years, Buildnet under its brand Properties; Najjera Heights, Creekside Apartments, Olive Homes Naalya, Raven Apartments and Florida apartments – has been building residential properties across Kampala, Uganda for sale. Some of the apartments (Olive Homes, Raven and Florida) have been sold off while others still available.
The company says given rapid rates of population growth and urbanization, a widening housing need may overwhelm cities in the near future.
Buildnet’s residences are built with the customer at heart, ensuring we provide the highest quality of amenities and services. Our understanding of the customers’ needs, and requirements makes the home buying process a simpler, less stressful experience – says the company’s Executive Director.