By Felix Oketcho
Kampala: Real Estate Agents of Uganda have requested President Yoweri Museveni to address their issues that have seen them battle a couple of financial consequences.
They aired their outcry during the the 9th annual international conference and annual general meeting in Kampala held under the theme: ”Fast forward to the future”.
They argued that the sector is facing many risks including land issues,unfair taxes and access to finance to spur sector developments.
“We are tired of meeting in conferences and talking to our selves. Year in we talk about the same challenges and lack of real estate regulation. We therefore request the president to resolve unfair taxes, lack of access to long term finance for real estate investment and incentives once and for all,” Association for Real Estate Agents of Uganda (AREA) President Kongai Shirley said.
Moses Lutalo Broll Managing Director said real estate is profitable venture alluded to urgent enactment of real estates law to ensure transparency and address lack of code of ethics in the profession.
“Government must urgently enact new real estate laws like tenant and land lord bill. This sort out real estate Investment Trust to bring sanity in real estates industry in future,” Lutalo said.
“Whereas real estate is profitable, it needs a patient person. Retirement schemes have a goal of making profits for their members. So real estate looks unattractive for them since it takes a while to make a profit,” he added.
According to finance report,real estate contributes 10 per cent to Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product despite unregulated with unethical middlemen manning the sector as brokers.
Bashir Juma Head of Business Development and Corporate Affairs Buganda Land Board in a related comment said that the real estate sector is grappling with financing costs because it is capital intensive hence diluting hopes of affordable housing access.
He attributed the high cost of housing to high cost of land, taxes as well as construction raw materials.