October 22, 2017

Kampala brokers accused of distorting property market

September 25—Real estate developers want the government to introduce a law that reins in brokers, who they say distort the market due to the often exorbitant fees and commissions they demand.

“Value for money cannot be attained in the real estate market if exorbitant pricing is not checked effectively,” Sabiti Bageine, the Executive Director of Property Management and Consultancy Limited has said.

Bageine was speaking during the launch of Fortiza Construction Products in Kampala. Depo Uganda has been given the exclusive rights to distribute and import all Fletcher Building Materials including the FORTIZA products in Uganda.

Parts of the real estate market in Kampala, are dominated by so-called ‘brokers’ who station themselves in strategic locations to sell their services to the public. They are notorious for charging any number of fees, including transport and airtime. Once accommodation is found, their commission is usually one month’s rent or 10% of the sale price depending on the circumstances.

However critics say brokers make selling, buying or renting accommodation more expensive than it should be. These brokers are presently not regulated and their contact addresses frequently involve a placard nailed to a tree or a hastily drawn up wooden billboard.

Bageine said, “The developer industry will stagnant given the immature market if land reforms are not worked on effectively. There is a dire need to strengthen the land tenure and setting up a law to check the unscrupulous dealers.”

Quantity Surveyor, Joel Kateregga agreed that a law is needed, because he said brokers are distorting the market by also overvaluing land.

Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda congratulated Fletcher Building for launching the Fortiza product in Uganda saying they had showcased the best roofing materials. Fletcher Building is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand and is one of the world’s leaders in building and construction materials and services. “I promise to work with the respective ministry to have the law worked on if it will help to streamline the sector,” Prof. Rugunda said.

 

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