According to data from the National Land Authority, there are 1.59 million unique individuals in Rwanda who own at least one land parcel although it is not clear whether there is a dwelling on the land. Of these individuals 77% jointly own or are part of a group of owners and 23% are single owners. According to the NLA, 27 000 unique individuals have an active mortgage. This data can be overlaid on RSSB data to determine patterns of property ownership and mortgage usage among households with at least one formally employed person. Unsurprisingly, property ownership is more common in higher earning segments, as is mortgage usage. However, the relatively low penetration of mortgages, even in higher earning, bankable segments of the market is noteworthy.
Low levels of mortgage or other forms of housing finance penetration may be as a result of a number of factors, on both the demand and supply sides.
This document sets out a variety of potential interventions, as might be offered by (a) the lenders, (b) the lending and affordable housing industry, or (c) the state, to realise a shift in the availability of housing finance (both mortgage and unsecured) for lower income earners. The choice of one or more of these ultimately rests on the problem that is being solved, and the interplay of lender, industry and state in each playing its role in extending access to, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of, the affordable housing ecosystem.
This brief forms part of a collection of fact sheets on Rwanda’s Affordable Housing Market commissioned by the Development Bank of Rwanda on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Rwanda Housing Authority. The information is drawn from the Study on the Housing Market and Low-Cost and Efficient Materials and Technologies
conducted by the joint venture of Lambert Lénack Architectes Urbanistes and 35 000 Holdings (trading as 71point4), in partnership with Fatou Dieye (project lead), Vincent Ngirabacu, Kigwa Consulting and James Setzler from GAC-R with advising from Kecia Rust of the Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa (CAHF).