Housing Finance in Rwanda

Overview

This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2020 Rwanda country profile, click here.

The Republic of Rwanda is located in the East African region, bordering the countries of Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Although strong growth was expected in 2020, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic mean the economy of Rwanda is projected to grow at only two percent in 2020. With two percent growth during such unprecedented times, Rwanda would be one of the few countries globally to register growth this year; this is on account of mitigation strategies implemented by the government to support affected businesses. However while many interventions were implemented to mitigate the spread and effects of COVID-19, no major response was implemented for the housing sector and the pandemic has continued to be a predominantly Kigali-based, or at least an urban phenomenon.

The formal housing sector in Kigali is generally made up of real estate agencies or individual developers which purchase land from private landowners and develop housing units that are then sold to the public. However, they tend to supply a small number of houses, hardly meeting three percent of the annual housing demand in Kigali city.

Access to affordable housing is identified as one of the key factors in the promotion of inclusive urban development. Generally, the housing market has largely targeted high income households, which represent less than 12 percent of all urban dwellers. Consequently, most of the Kigali city inhabitants who cannot afford formal housing prices have informally self-developed their dwellings in unplanned areas. Housing finance in Rwanda is expensive and the housing market is at an early stage. Mortgage interest rates are approximately 17 percent, and as a result only a small portion of households can afford to borrow.

Demand for secure, affordable housing is surging because of the fast urban population growth – estimated at 5.75 percent annually, more than twice the rate of overall population growth in the country. This, coupled with the significant housing deficits evident in Kigali and the secondary cities, presents an opportunity for real estate development in Rwanda.

Find out more information on Rwanda’s housing finance sector, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:


Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2020 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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