The National Housing & Construction Company plans to put 5,000 housing units to the market in Kampala and municipalities around the country by 2020, to meet the country’s bulging demand for housing. At the same time, the company announced that it is slashing prices for its units currently in the market in Namungoona in Kampala and Rwizi in Mbarara.
The company units in Namungoona (Impala Apartments are 3 bedroomed, which were initially priced at Shs 295 million (US$82,000). The Rwizi (Mbarara) apartments were priced at Shs 199 million (US$55,000) for 2-bedroom units, while 3-bedroom units were at Shs 299 million (US$83,000).
The company now says the Namungoona and Rwize units’ prices have been slashed down by between Shs 30-40 million (US$8,000-11,000).
While launching a joint campaign with the Housing Finance Bank aimed at promoting home ownership and accelerate purchase of houses, Parity Twinomujuni the managing director of the house-builder said by 2020, the country will need a total of 10 million new units, for a country whose population is currently growing at 3.2 per cent.
“The population is increasing, we are seeing increasing urbanisation. The housing shortage even in the next 50 years will not be solved even if we triple our (current) production,” he said.
The National Housing Company, a former fully government owned corporation, is now partially owned (by Government of Uganda-51 per cent) and by LAICO, a company of the Libyan Government (49 per cent). It is the biggest home construction company, in a market increasingly attracting small, informal real estate players.
Although the company says all the units it puts to the market gets snatched up, buyers have always voiced the sentiment that National Housing units are more expensive on average and are generally out of reach for many small and mid-income Ugandans. For example, a three-bed room unit at their Naalya Jasmine estate goes for Shs 436 million (US$121,000), while a three-bedroom unit in the same estate goes for 480 million (US$ 133,000)
Within the same Naalya area, however, just across the road, a private developer, Universal Enterprises has their three bedroom units going for Shs 198 million (US$55,000); nearly 50 per cent less. National Housing however argues that their cost is because they put quality and lasting houses to the market, a fact that may not be true about their smaller competitors in the market.
The company currently has up to 815 units in the market: 58 in Jasmine (Naalya), 312 in Naalya Pride (Naalya), 120 in Rwizi (Mbarara), 315 in Impala apartments (Namungoona). It however has 1,000 units in the works in the Bukerere Housing estate and a further 192 in Luzira housing estate.