Time to solve the mortgage shortage

In Summary

• There are only 27,000 active mortgages in Kenya compared to 11 million in the UK

• Buying a property is more expensive to start with but cheaper than renting in the long run


Today there is a simple way to make Kenya more equal, and that is by giving more Kenyans access to mortgages

There are 27,000 active mortgages in Kenya worth Sh27 billion, according to the latest CBK figures. Compare that to the 11 million active mortgages in the UK with a value of £1,600 billion (Sh 236 trillion).

There is a shortage of 2,000,000 housing units in Kenya. If mortgages were easily available, ordinary Kenyans could buy their own homes and increase their personal wealth.

A mortgage is expensive to start with but, as time passes, it becomes more affordable and cheaper than renting. Every salaried worker should get a mortgage and buy a property.

This does not happen because the Lands Registry is still chaotic and courts are too slow in allowing properties to be repossessed if a borrower defaults ( over 11 per cent of mortgages are non-performing at the moment). This discourages banks from lending for mortgages even though, in theory, their loans are completely secured by the value of the property.

If the next President can solve the mortgage conundrum, he will set Kenya on a permanent path to greater wealth and stability.

Quote of the day: "The most dangerous mistake of any political force is to forget its roots."

Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings 
He seized power in
Ghana after a military coup on June 4, 1979