Housing Sector


Housing - Royal Palm Estate

Credit: Photo/Newvision

 

Size and Structure

Uganda’s current housing stock is estimated at 5.28 million housing units with an average household size of 5 persons. The national occupancy density is estimated at 1.1 households per housing unit.

The sector on average accounts for 7.5 per cent of Uganda’s GDP. Its growth is attributed to rapid population growth, increase in disposable income, increase in foreign direct investment, and immigrant remittances.

Summary Of The Housing Requirements By 2020


 

Location

Estimated backlog 2009
Units
Estimated replacement needed
Units
Estimated upgrading needed
Units
Projected requirements  by 2020
Units
Kampala 82, 184 26,299 32,874   750,791
Other Towns 92, 730 37,092 46,365   1, 092,318
Rural Areas 532, 468 106,494 1,064, 935  8,482,889
Nationally 707, 382 169,885 1,144,174  10, 325,990

Source: National Housing and Construction Company

Status of Economic Activity in the Sector

Ugandans are by nature a house owning society. 86.1% of all rural dwellings are owned by families which reside in them. In urban areas, 57% of all dwellings are rentals. The desire to own ones dwelling, increasing urbanization and population continue to drive business activity in the housing sector. Kampala has become congested. There are plans to build new towns and cities to ease that congestion. 

 

The high cost of finance is a major constrain the sector’s growth. The requirements for accessing mortgage finance are so stringent, and therefore, unaffordable by a large section of the population. High interest rates on housing loans (Currently above 20%) further limit growth in the sector. 

Current Structure Of Players In The Sector

 

The housing sector is dominated by the private sector except for a 49% Government stake in National Housing and Construction Company Ltd, the biggest housing construction company in Uganda. There are very few Real Estate development companies. The bulk of housing is commissioned by private individuals using mainly small building firms and private builders.

Key Players in the sector

The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development
The Ministry is responsible for issuing National Physical Planning Standards and Guidelines that govern construction of commercial and residential building. The Land Registry, a department of the Ministry registers properties and issues land titles. Property transfers are made through the Land Registry. Some of the Ministry’s functions and services are carried out by the local authorities.

Housing Finance Bank Uganda Ltd
The Bank is a pioneer in mortgage lending. Currently it holds 90% market share of mortgaging companies.
Uganda Society of Architects
The Uganda Society of Architects (USA), brings together architects in Uganda to regulate building standards in the building construction industry.
Ministry Of Works Central Materials Testing Laboratory
 Private Real Estate Development Companies
Private real estate companies include Jomayi, Hossana, Canaan Sites, Heritage Sites, Sema Properties and Zion Construction

 

Demand Drivers

 

Demand Drivers For The / Housing Sector:

  • The boom in the housing sector is the driving force that has pulled many real estate developers into committing huge financial resources to this sector. The challenges in the housing sector include; absence of proper legislation, housing policy to regulate and accelerate the construction of housing units, of which looking at the trend, the government is underway with the enactment of such regulations.

 

  • Rapid urbanization and the setting up of new districts and town councils.
  • Urban slums are gradually becoming replaced with apartments to cater from the growing urban population
  • Standards of living continue to rise in both urban and rural Uganda. That is driving growth in new housing and refurbishment of old ones.
  • Rising disposable incomes that have enabled Ugandans to invest in better housing.
  • Increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
  • Uganda Diaspora remittances (Personal Transfers)
  • Increase in the number of international organisations, foreign mission, nongovernmental organisations, international businesses and trade organisations resident in Uganda.

 

Key Trends

Housing construction activity has more than doubled since 2007 to 2011 as shown in the graph below. The graph shows data from Uganda Bureau Of Statistics, based on plans for buildings obtained from across the country from 12 Municipalities, 44 Town Councils and the Divisions of Kampala District. Building Statistics are presented in the categories of Plans Submitted, Plans Approved and Permits Issued.

Plans Submitted, 2007 - 2011


Source: UBOS Statistical Abstract 2012

 

Plans Approved 2007-2011


Source: UBOS Statistical Abstract 2012

Investment Opportunities

  • Low cost housing
  • Medium cost housing
  • Partnerships with utility companies in provision of infrastructure to real estate projects
  • Partnerships with financial institutions to provide housing
  • Partnerships with landowners in providing housing estates
  • Commercial complexes and shopping areas
  • Brick and tile making factories
  • Real Estate Agencies
  • Development of entertainment centres
  • Partnership with local authorities in providing social infrastructure
  • Partnerships with capital market resources to provide infrastructure
  • Supply of building materials and equipment
  • Supply of transport and logistics
  • Architectural or engineering services
  • Surveying

Specific Licensing Requirements
(Refer to Appendix 3)
Sector Specific Incentives for Investors
N/A

Useful Addresses and Contacts

Ministry of Lands, Housing & Urban Development
Plot 13/15 Parliament Avenue, Century Building
Box 7096 Kampala
Tel: 256-414-342931/373511
E-mail: mlhud@mlhud.go.ug, ps@mlhud.go.ug;
Website – http://www.mlhud.go.ug