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For millions, owning a house is a pipe dream, but SACCOs offer hope: WB Report

For millions, owning a house is a pipe dream, but SACCOs offer hope: WB Report

According to a World Bank report, a majority of Kenyans have no access to affordable mortgage, and the available pricey mortgages chase few upmarket units.
For starters, the government has failed to increase the formal affordable houses in the country.
Kenya’s first medium-term plan for 2009 to 2012 in the vision 2030 strategy had an initial target of providing 200,000 housing units annually for all income levels but only delivered 3, 000 units, same case for the medium term two between 2013 to 2017.
The private sector, on the other hand, has constructed 15, 000 units per year, focusing on upper-middle-class income at 48 percent and high income at 35 percent with only 2 percent segmented for the lower income.
So who will take care of the millions of Kenyans who are not rich enough? What is holding back affordable housing?
“A key constraint for low and middle-income buyers comes down to a limited supply of financing, currently mortgage lending is funded almost entirely by short-term retail and institutional deposits and only a few financial institutions have accessed the capital markets,” said the WB reported, dubbed, Housing Unavailable and unaffordable.
According to the report, 10 percent of all housing credit comes in the form of mortgages from the banking sector with the remainder sourced from Savings and Credit Co- operatives (SACCOs) and housing cooperative networks.
Kenya’s mortgages have continued to stagnate at about 25,000 in a country with more than 41 million people despite the country being among the fastest growing economies in the continent.
The mortgages have an average amount of Sh8 million. Mortgage debt is currently at 3.15 percent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as at December 2015. Comparatively, South Africa’s mortgage debt stands at 33 percent of the GDP, with interest rates averaging 10.5 percent.
“The constraints for banks are mainly in terms of risk-return decisions, but housing finance is also considered to be relatively unattractive compared with investment in T-bills. The administrative burden of complex land transfer and mortgage registration is a further disincentive to increase the amount of mortgage finance.”

Source: www.capitalfm.co.ke

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