Mortgages can make more Kenyans homeowners

Mortgages need to be more easily available in Kenya if the housing industry is to properly take off

In Summary

• Housing Finance Group is providing mortgage finance for affordable homes in Pangani.

• In developed economies, borrowers can get mortgages for terms of up to 25 years.

Mortgage loans remain out of reach for most of the population.
Mortgage loans remain out of reach for most of the population.

Housing Finance Group has said that it will provide mortgages to buyers of 1,562 affordable housing units in Pangani (see P14).

There is an estimated shortage of two million housing units in Kenya. 

In developed economies, most people buy their homes with long-term mortgages. The terms can be up to 25 years. This allows buyers to acquire homes for little more than the cost of their rent. But Kenya only has a paltry 20,000 mortgages today, far less than the potential demand.


Many properties are empty today because people cannot afford to buy them. They would be snapped up if mortgages were easily available.

For that to happen, the lands department and the courts need to get their act together. Mortgages work in developed countries because it is easy to repossess a property if a borrower defaults. But in Kenya the land title may be messed up in the ministry or the courts may fail to enforce the right of ownership.

Sort out the courts and secure title deeds, the mortgage industry will boom and many more Kenyans will be able to own their own homes.

Quote of the day: "Islam is politics or it is nothing."

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini 
He became the Supreme Leader of Iran on December 3, 1979