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Uganda is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa, bordering Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country is predominantly rural, with its capital city, Kampala having over one million inhabitants. Uganda has one of the highest rates of urbanisation in the world, necessitating significant planning and infrastructure investment.
Uganda’s financial sector remained strong in 2019, despite tightened global financial conditions. The Central Bank Rate remaining stable at 10 percent in the period. This stability echoed through interest rates within the commercial banks. The country’s total mortgage portfolio also increased by 10 percent in June 2019, driven by interest rate stability and economic recovery. The cost of borrowing however remains a major constraint to accessing credit in the country, because of a low-level supply of long-term finance, and restrictive default requirements from the regulator.
Uganda has an immense market potential for housing delivery, as indicated by the gap in annual housing supply compared to the established demand. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda has a deficit of 2.1 million housing units, growing at a rate of 200 000 units a year. It is estimated that by 2030, the country’s housing deficit is expected to reach three million units. The high rates of urbanization also pose significant opportunities for developers, particularly in the affordable housing segment. Additionally, stability in market lending interest rates has encouraged an upsurge in mortgage finance for the past two years and further availability of low-cost finance may increase uptake further.
Information on housing finance is compiled and shared by Uganda’s central bank (Bank of Uganda) under its supervisory oversight function for the banking industry. Additional pricing information on the housing sector is compiled and released quarterly by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). The key challenges in collecting information include high levels of privacy by financial institutions, making it virtually impossible to obtain data on the size of their mortgage book and key housing-related projects financed over the period.
Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Uganda, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:
- Access to Finance
- Housing Supply
- Property Markets
- Policy and Regulations
- Availability of data on housing finance
Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2019 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.Download yearbook
Uganda is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa. The capital city Kampala, the only urban centre in the country with more than one million inhabitants, borders the largest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria. The country’s population of 44.3 million is predominantly rural, representing 78 percent of the population, and therefore the economy is heavily reliant on the agricultural sector which accounts for approximately 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). However, the country has one of the highest rate of urbanisation in the world, requiring significant planning and infrastructure investment but also presenting massive opportunity in the housing market.
Uganda’s economy expanded by 6.1 percent over the financial year to June 2019, up from 5.2 percent in the 2017/2018 financial year. This strong performance has been achieved partly as a result of strong household sector demand. As a result, private sector credit grew by 13 percent to USh15.09 trillion (US$14.08 billion) in June 2019 from USh13.4 trillion (US$3.63 billion) in June 2018, spurring business development and expansion. This positive trajectory is expected to continue over the next financial year to June 2020, with an anticipated 6.3 percent growth rate on account of stronger private sector activity and increased public infrastructure developments, partly supported out of the USh40.48 trillion (US$10.96 billion) national budget for the financial year 2019/20.
The 2019/20 national budget earmarked significant investments for the recapitalisation of the government-owned Uganda Development Bank to the tune of USh103.5 billion (US$28.01 million) to enhance its financing capacity for projects in agriculture, industry, real estate and tourism. Additionally, in its budget statement, the government highlighted its commitment to the Security Interest in Movable Property Act to facilitate use of movable assets as loan collateral and the operationalisation of an electronic chattels register to ease access to credit in the financial year 2019/2020. These initiatives are likely to boost developments in the real estate sector and improve access to credit facilities, particularly for the majority of Ugandans (over 65 percent) who have persistently been excluded on account of collateral limitations.
On the market side, Uganda’s inflation rate has been relatively stable at an average of 3.1 percent over the one-year period to June 2019, rising from 2.1 percent in June 2018. This marginal increment in general prices translated into a relatively higher rise in property prices with implications for housing affordability. The Residential Property Price Index (RPPI) for the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area rose by 2.5 percent in real terms over the 2018/19 financial year. The recorded rise in the index is attributed to increments in property prices (see section on Affordability for more details) across most parts of Uganda’s central region. This price increase is driven by demand due to the high urbanisation rate of 5.2 percent in Uganda.
Overall, the rising inflationary trend is projected to continue, deviating from the previously sustained five-year trend of a record low rate, averaging 4.4 percent, which has been well below the inflation target of the East African Community criteria of five percent. The relatively low inflation is mainly attributed to lower food and utilities’ prices coupled with astute monetary policy management. Projections, however, indicate that the inflation rate will rise to about five percent in 2019/2020 and peak at about 6.4 percent over the next two-to-three years because of rising consumer demand and weather-dependant food crop production.
The external sector has generally been supportive of the exchange rate, translating into stability of the Uganda shilling to average at USh3 728 against the US dollar, and reflecting low levels of volatility with the US dollar exchange rate changing by less than 0.1 percent if measured year-on-year. Investments in the oil and gas sector are expected to yield results from 2023 as Uganda commences commercial oil production. This is likely to boost developments in the real estate sector as the country prepares to accommodate an increasing number of foreign experts in the oil-rich Albertine region. The government has begun construction of Hoima International Airport in this region to facilitate mobilisation of equipment for construction of oil production infrastructure. However, such heavy infrastructure developments have led to an escalation of the national debt to unprecedented levels.
Although not yet worryingly high, Uganda’s national debt to GDP ratio increased from 33 percent in 2017 to 41 percent in 2018, which is still safely below the guideline ceiling of 50 percent. The country’s Business Tendency Index, which measures the level of optimism that executives have about current and expected outlook for the economy, reflected a growing optimism increasing moderately by 1.65 percent over 2018/19 as of June. Overall, the economic outlook is expected to remain stable as per the June 2019 Fitch rating of B+. This was mainly driven by the country’s relative macroeconomic stability, supported by a comparatively high degree of exchange rate flexibility and central bank independence that operates under an inflation targeting framework. This favorable investment climate provides a timely opportunity for large-scale investments across several sectors including real estate.
 World Bank (2019). Uganda Recent Developments. http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/953081492188175553/mpo-uga.pdf (Accessed 19-August-2019). Pg. 1.
 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2018). Statistical Abstract.https://www.ubos.org/wp-content/uploads/publications/05_2019STATISTICAL_ABSTRACT_2018.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 43.
 World Bank (2018).Closing the Potential-Performance Divide in Ugandan Agriculture.https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/uganda/publication/closing-the-potential-performance-divide-in-ugandan-agriculture-fact-sheet (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Credit to the private sector report. https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/rates_statistics/statistics.html(Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 5.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Monetary Policy Statement June 2019. https://www.bou.or.ug/export/sites/default/bou/media/press_releases/2019/Jun/Monetary-Policy-Statement-for-June-2019-1.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Parliament of the Republic of Uganda (2019). Budget Speech, Fiscal Year 2019/2020. https://www.parliament.go.ug/news/3495/budget-speech-kasaija-clutches-minerals-exploration-industrialisation-boost-economy (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (2019). Budget Speech, Fiscal Year 2019/2020. https://budget.go.ug/sites/default/files/National%20Budget%20docs/NATIONAL%20BUDGET%20SPEECH%20FY%202019-20.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 12.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Monetary Policy Statement June 2019. Pg. 1.
 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2019). Residential Property Price Index Fourth Quarter 2018/2019. Press Release. https://www.ubos.org/wp-content/uploads/publications/06_2019Residential_Property_Price_Index.pdf (Accessed 20 August 2019) Pg.1
 World Bank (2019). Uganda Country Overview. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/uganda/overview (Accessed 20 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Monetary Policy Statement June 2019. Pg. 1.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Exchange Rates June 2019. https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/collateral/exchange_rates.html (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Monitor Publications (2019). Uganda Revises First Oil Production to 2022. https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Uganda-revises-first-oil-production-to-2022/688334-4981204-guetcp/index.html (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Macroeconomic Indicators Report July 2019. https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/rates_statistics/statistics.html (Accessed 20August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Media Statement July 2019. https://www.bou.or.ug/export/sites/default/bou/media/press_releases/2019/Jul/Bank-of-Uganda-Stable-Outlook-Fitch-Ratings.pdf (Accessed 20 August 2019). Pg. 1.
Access to Finance
Uganda’s financial sector remains strong with over 90 percent of financial institutions posting improved results during 2018 and the first half of 2019. The country’s domestic financing conditions have improved over the 2018/19 period despite tightened global financial conditions that challenged emerging markets.
The Central Bank Rate, a policy benchmark rate, was maintained at 10 percent over the nine months to June 2019, having raised this benchmark rate from nine percent in September 2018. This stability in the rate echoed through the range of interest rates including commercial banks’ deposit and lending rates. This stability, in part, accounts for the increase in commercial banks’ lending. Private sector credit from commercial banks has grown by 9.3 percent or USh 1.19 trillion (US$322.06 million) to USh 13.97 trillion (US$3.78 billion) over the year ending June 2019. Although the noted expansion in credit to the private sector is commendable, government borrowing was much more significant over the same period with credit to government through commercial banks’ purchase of government securities growing by 29.5 percent. The higher level of lending to government compared to private sector lending is attributed to increased government investment in infrastructural projects. Overall, the key sectors in Uganda’s economy posted increased borrowing during the year, with the building, construction and real estate sector, which accounts for the largest share of banks’ credit, rising to record a 10.1 percent growth rate in March 2019 from 7.5 percent in March 2018.
As of June 2018, real estate continued to lead private sector credit allocation with 20.6 percent of total followed by trade at 19.2 percent, personal loans at 17.8 percent, manufacturing at 14.3 percent, and agriculture at 12.4 percent. From the housing sector perspective, the 20.6 percentage allocation is largely for property development (6.9), residential mortgages (5.5), commercial mortgages (3.5), general construction companies (3.3) and other real estate-related finance (1.5). Credit growth to the sector recorded an annual growth of 10.1 percent in March 2019, compared to 7.5 percent for March 2018. This notable rise in credit to housing and real estate sector activities is, in part, attributed to the recovery in property prices during the period July to December 2018. As such, the RPPI for the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA) comprising of Kampala, Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi districts registered a growth of 9.4 percent for the year ending March 2019 (third quarter 2018/19) compared to 7.1 percent registered for the year ended December 2018/ GKMA is an economic and administrative hub, and a major investment destination for Uganda, since 10 percent of Uganda’s population lives in the area; 70 percent of the country’s manufacturing plants are in the area and a third of Uganda’s GDP is generated from this area.
Uganda’s banking industry comprises 24 Tier 1 commercial banks and other relatively mid-sized credit institutions classified under Tier 2 and Tier 3 by the regulator. Housing Finance Bank (HFB) leads the mortgage financing market segment in Uganda with about 55 percent of the total mortgage portfolio in the country. Other banks involved in housing related finance include Bank of Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, dfcu Bank, Stanbic Bank and Centenary Bank.
The total mortgage portfolio, comprising both residential and commercial mortgages, increased by 10 percent to USh2.92 trillion (US$790.3 million) in June 2019. The growth is largely attributed to a stability in bank interest lending rates and economic recovery that supports investments across most sectors. Average mortgage lending rates have marginally declined to 17 percent as of June 2019, from 17.5 the previous year and 19.5 percent in 2017. The decline in mortgage interest rates is largely attributed to increasing levels of competition among lenders and a low inflation rate. Although the decline in lending interest rates is notable across the last two years, the cost of borrowing remains a major constraint to accessing credit in the country, mainly due to a low-level supply of long-term finance to support mortgage lending and high levels of provisioning for defaults as required by the regulator.
Additionally, the savings’ culture in Uganda is relatively underdeveloped, with only about 54 percent of the adult population saving regularly. This is due to low income levels, averaging US$647 GDP per capita, and a relatively high cost of living. However, with the recent increase in bank agent outlets and expansion of microcredit, the level of financial inclusion has improved significantly to 78 percent in March 2018 from less than 50 percent over 10 years ago. The National Social Security Fund (NSSF) records the country’s saving rate at 11 percent, a large impediment to long-term development. However, the new NSSF Amendment Bill (2019) seeks to achieve a saving rate of 40 percent over the next 30 years. This is to be achieved through a combination of sustained high growth rates, relaxation of corporate contribution regulations, and up to 30 percent tax-free savings allowances for workers.
Lenders must factor provisions for expected loan losses into their loan pricing, and this risk affects the cost of borrowing. However, with a notable improvement in asset quality, as measured by the ratio of non-performing loans to total outstanding loans (NPL ratio), to 3.8 percent in March 2019 from 5.3 percent in March 2018, the lending interest rates across most business segments have recorded a downward trend and translated into the 9.3 percentage expansion in credit to the private sector.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Monetary Policy Report June 2019. https://www.bou.or.ug/export/sites/default/bou/media/press_releases/2019/Jun/Monetary-Policy-Statement-for-June-2019-1.pdf (Accessed 20 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Credit to the private sector report. Pg. 5.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Credit to the private sector report. Pg.5.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Financial Stability Reports March 2019. https://www.bou.or.ug/bou/bou-downloads/financial_stability/Reviews/2019/Mar/Financial-Stability-Review_Mar-2019-2.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg.2.
 World Bank (2018). Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA). http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/595971521054661269/Great-Kampala-Metropolitan-Area-Quick-Facts.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 2.
 World Bank (2019). Uganda Recent Developments report. http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/953081492188175553/mpo-uga.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 1.
 Financial Sector Deepening Uganda (2018). FinScope 2018 survey.http://fsduganda.or.ug/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Finscope-Findings-Infographics-June-2018.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg.1.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Financial Stability Reports March 2019. Pg.2
Affordability of housing is still a major challenge for most households. Approximately 20 percent of households in the Kampala area live in their own houses, with 80 percent living in rented apartments. For other urban areas, the ratio of owner-occupation increases to 44 percent and reaches a high of 83 percent in rural areas. The key constraints to housing affordability include the high cost of completed housing units and the high cost of borrowing for housing finance. Over the one-year period to January 2019, rising land and input prices have driven residential property prices upwards by 2.5 percent highlighted in the Retail Property Price Index movement. Additionally, the Construction Sector Indices highlight a 2.0 percentage rise in construction sector input prices for the same period. This rise in input prices translates into high prices for completed housing units and further suppresses housing affordability for the majority workers dependent on employment in the agriculture value chain.
Uganda’s agriculture sector is characterised by low income levels but still occupies a lion’s share in employing the country’s population. Although employment in agriculture accounted for 71 percent of employment in 2018 the sector did not offer sufficient income for its workforce to afford decent accommodation.
On average, a newly completed two-bedroom house sells for about USh 50 million, (US$13 532), which is beyond the reach of most Ugandans. Using formal income levels, only 4.4 percent of Uganda’s urban population have the purchasing power to afford the cheapest newly built three-bedroom house valued at US$20 000 (USh74 million). More specifically, housing units priced within the range of USh50 million and USh70 million are outside the main GKMA urban areas and normally require prospective homeowners to combine both formal and informal income sources to afford such units.
On the financing side, most lenders only offer up to 80 percent financing for residential mortgages. This makes it impossible for the bulk of prospective homeowners to raise the remaining 20 percent to qualify for home financing, given the low level of savings among the population. In addition, borrowing interest rates have remained relatively high at 17 percent per annum across most lenders. To overcome this affordability challenge, some banks, including HFB and Bank of Africa, have introduced 100 percent financing for residential mortgages under which borrowers may be fully financed without down payments to acquire residential property. HFB has also introduced incremental housing finance under which a client can take small loans to build a house in phases, thereby reducing the burden of a large mortgage.
 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2017). National Household Survey 2016/17. https://www.ubos.org/onlinefiles/uploads/ubos/pdf%20documents/UNHS_VI_2017_Version_I_%2027th_September_2017.pdf (Accessed 20 August 2019). Pg. 120
 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2019). Construction Sector Indices. https://www.ubos.org/wp-content/uploads/publications/02_2019CSI_Press_release_for_Nov_Dec_2018_Jan_2019_Final.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 1.
According t0 the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, Uganda has a deficit of 2.1 million housing units, growing at a rate of 200 000 units a year. In 2030, the deficit is expected to reach three million units. This is on account of the rapid urbanisation rate and a high population growth rate of 3.2 percent per annum. This rate of growth means theoretically the total population doubles every 20 years, a situation that continues to seriously impact the country’s housing sector. While more housing units are needed, construction costs are still high, as reflected by the rising Construction Sector Indices discussed in the Affordability section.
The NSSF, with an asset base of USh11 trillion (US$2.98 billion), though passionate about the sector, has failed to construct a residential unit below USh100 million (US$27 063). The high cost of construction makes delivering at an affordable price point challenging. The cost of land is also high, estimated at USh880 000 (US$239) per square meter in urban areas. While labour to construct a house might be relatively affordable at approximately USh3 700 (US$1) per square meter, this is eroded by the high cost of land and infrastructure. For affordable housing, where the threshold is considered USh100 million (US$27 063), a developer like NSSF would need free urban land and already existing supporting infrastructure. Small-scale developers have delivered housing units within this pricing range outside of the GKMA area. Prefabricated houses, which the NSSF has experimented with in a bid to lower housing costs, met low levels of acceptability. This indicates a preference for brick and mortar homes by the general population.
On the supply side, the country has registered progress in expanding the delivery of housing units for the rapidly rising population. Less than 15 mid-sized property developers are cumulatively delivering close to 700 housing units (typically freehold condominium) in the GKMA area annually.
In 2018 and 2019, the government differed from the norm of leaving housing development to private sector market participants, delivering 101 housing units to families evacuated from the landslide prone Mount Elgon region in the East of the country. The two-bedroom housing units were constructed by the national army and police under the first phase completed in March 2019. The second and third phases will focus on delivery of 400 and 900 houses respectively for occupation by 6 300 people affected by landslides in the region.
In October 2018, HFB, partnered with Habitat for Humanity and the Buganda Kingdom to champion the Decent Living Campaign. This is initiative is aimed at improving lives through decent shelter, better livelihoods, access to safe and clean water, and better hygiene and sanitation, with an overall goal of supporting close to 400 individuals by 2030. Social housing will be needed to eliminate housing poverty in Uganda.
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development (2016). Uganda National Housing Policy. http://mlhud.go.ug/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/National-Housing-Policy-May-2016.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 5.
 Housing Finance Bank (2019). Market Research Report. Unpublished.
Monitor Publications (2016). The Low-Cost Housing Myth in Uganda. https://www.monitor.co.ug/Business/Prosper/The-low-cost-housing-myth-in-Uganda/688616-3370372-b5x62qz/index.html (Accessed 21-August-2019) Pg.1
New Vision Newspaper Publications (2019). https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1496378/bududa-landslide-houses-handed-government Pg. 1.
Uganda’s property market is dominated by a handful of property developers with capacity to deliver over 100 units per annum each. Currently, this space has been taken up by National Housing and Construction Company, Comfort Homes, Universal Multipurpose Enterprises and Waves Limited. These tend to set benchmark market prices for housing units within the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area. A few other small-scale developers, delivering under 20 units per annum, deliver the units at prices close to market rates. Beyond delivery of new houses, several transactions do take place on the secondary housing market. The key driver of the secondary housing market tends to be loan recovery for borrowers who have had difficulties meeting their loan installments on mortgaged property.
On the rental market side, approximately 22 percentof urban dwellers live in rented apartments in areas within and around Uganda’s capital city. The percentage of owner-occupation improves with areas further away from the city to reach 91 percent in rural northern Uganda. On the property registration side, the World Bank ranks Uganda at 126 out of 190 countries, with 42 days required to complete a 10-step process costing 3.1 percent of the land value.
Property rights are an additional barrier to providing affordable housing. About 80 percent of land in Uganda is under a customary land tenure system, making it difficult for an individual to pledge such communal land as collateral for personal mortgage-related borrowing. Land fragmentation in densely populated areas also affects housing delivery. Challenges also arise from the small, untradeable land parcels and large undeveloped land, especially crown land. The solution is to either develop or tax the land.
The property market is significantly affected by the increase in lending interest rates, resulting from the banks’ high cost of funding and operating costs. Creation of alternative funding structures to support long-term bank lending would be an appropriate solution for the sector. Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development has established committees to finalise arrangements for setting up a mortgage refinance company and to operationalise the regulations for pension-backed mortgages.
In 2012, Uganda’s land registry introduced a computerised land title recording and issuance system, aimed at easing the titling of property, registration of land and generally improving land administration. The initiative is likely to improve the proportion of titled land earlier recorded at 20 percent across the country.
 Housing Finance Bank (2019). Housing Market Report (2019). Unpublished.
 Uganda Bureau of Statistics (2013). Uganda National Housing Census. https://www.ubos.org/onlinefiles/uploads/ubos/UNHS_12_13/2012_13%20UNHS%20Final%20Report.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 137.
World Bank Report (2019). Ease of Doing Business Uganda 2019. https://www.doingbusiness.org/content/dam/doingBusiness/country/u/uganda/UGA.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 22.
 World Bank Report (2015). Can Uganda’s Land Support its Prosperity Drive? http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/585071468000009216/pdf/99060-WP-P155327-Box393200B-OUO-8-V2-UEU6-Fact-sheet-final.pdf (Accessed 19 August 2019). Pg. 7.
Policy and Regulations
Since the business of real estate engages multiple stakeholders such as banks, landlords, property managers and tenants, action by one party inevitably impacts on the performance of another stakeholder. Several regulatory changes affecting the housing and real estate sector have therefore taken effect in 2019. In June 2019, Uganda’s Parliament passed the Landlord and Tenant Bill of 2018 that seeks to, among other things, regulate the relationship between landlords and tenants. This Bill, awaiting the president’s consent, has several amendments on rights and duties of landlords and tenants in rented commercial and residential premises. A key provision of the Bill includes the legal requirement for the two parties to execute a contract for all rent transactions above value of USh500 000 (US$135) with clear terms and conditions. Additionally, it is now illegal for landlords to evict defaulting tenants without securing court orders to do so.
The Financial Institutions (Capital Adequacy Requirements) Regulation, 2018 took effect in September 2018. This enhanced the capital requirements for financial institutions, with the aim of improving commercial bank’s resilience to market and operational risks. With this amendment, financial institutions are now required to hold additional capital as a cushion for market risk. The minimum on-going Tier 1 capital/risk weighted assets (RWA) requirement was increased to 10 percent. This will affect the banks’ ability to offer large-scale loans to clients including property developers.
 Bank of Uganda (2019). Financial Stability Reports March 2019. Pg.2.
Uganda has an immense market potential for housing delivery in the affordable market segment. With the widening gap in annual housing supply compared to the established demand, developers could exploit the significant opportunity in the affordable housing segment. There is insufficient supply of housing units for most low income earners. Additionally, stability in market lending interest rates has encouraged an upsurge in mortgage finance for the past two years and further availability of low-cost finance may increase uptake further.
The 2019/20 national budget highlights key opportunities towards easing limitations to accessing loans through the proposed enactment of Security Interest in Movable Property Act. This will allow the use of movable assets as loan collateral. Once enacted, finance providers, mainly in the micro-mortgage space, are likely to see an increase in the number of loan applicants who are currently restricted by lack of suitable collateral. Ultimately increased access to finance, coupled with significant housing demand, should present ample opportunity for housing delivery in the affordable segment of the market.
Availability of data on housing finance
Information on housing finance is compiled and shared by Uganda’s central bank (Bank of Uganda) under its supervisory oversight function for the banking industry. The Bank of Uganda produces an Annual Report which includes a summary of economic developments and prospects, financial inclusion and financial markets. Such data is, however, quite general in nature and relates to private sector credit.
Additional pricing information on the housing sector is compiled and released quarterly by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS). In addition, UBOS produces a Statistical Abstract annually, which includes statistics from the latest surveys, censuses and administrative records of Ministries, Departments and Agencies. It is used to track outcomes of policies as well as for decision-making. The 2018 Statistical Abstract covers statistics on the environmental, demographic, socio-economic, production and macroeconomic sectors. This document is publicly available for collection at UBOS in Kampala and on the official UBOS website www.ubos.org.
The key challenges in collecting information include high levels of privacy by financial institutions, making it virtually impossible to obtain data on the size of their mortgage book and key housing-related projects financed over the period. Current data on new housing units constructed can be found in several institutions (some private) but is not easily accessible. Overall, the research relies on key data from government ministries and bodies mandated to collect and publish data on a regular basis, as well as key private sector players including financial institutions, property developers and international development finance institutions.
Bank of Uganda https://www.bou.or.ug/
World Bank https://data.worldbank.org/
Uganda Bureau of Statistics https://www.ubos.org/
Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development http://mlhud.go.ug/
Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development https://budget.go.ug/