If you are to buy land in Rwanda today, you are likely to spend the most in Kimironko sector compared to other places.
According to the latest land reference prices published last November by the Institute of Real Property Valuers in Rwanda (IRPV), Rwf 169, 676 per square metre was the maximum reference price or the highest price for land parcels sold in Kimironko during the year 2015-2017.
Gisozi comes second at Rwf 152, 550 per square meter, followed by Nyarugenge at Rwf 151, 697 and Rusororo at Rwf 151, 169.
Bonaventure Munyabugingo, a member of the IRPV Board of Directors who participated in compiling the data, told The New Times that: “In Kimironko, it could be especially in the Kibagabaga area. That’s the market behavior. What we published was directly from the records of the Rwanda Land Management and Use Authority (RLMUA). What we have is a reflection of the transaction data.”
“In Gisozi the high prices are mainly in the areas recently developed such as the estate known as kwa Gaposho. In these developed areas there are high standards and designs and infrastructure and that is where people tend to go, which drives prices up. In Kiyovu, there is the area commonly known as Plateau.”
He noted that the same account goes for Rusororo; in the areas surrounding or closer to Intare Conference Arena.
Real estate developments are among the key drivers and influencers of cost of property across the country, experts say.Net photo.
“In Rusororo, it all started with the development of the Hillside estate.”
Land reference prices are important, Munyabugingo said, largely because they give valuers the same information.
He said: “It avoids high levels of discrepancies in reports. It is about giving practitioners almost the same level of information. All the people are equipped with professional information which helps avoid conflicts. From the previous reports we could realize that something positive happened; differences and discrepancies and the related conflicts have been going down.”
Natalie Campbell-Rodriques, a development consultant who owns and operates Forrest Jackson Relocation Services, shed more light on how the idea of land reference prices is important.
She said: “The idea of land reference prices is important especially in societies such as Rwanda where there does not exist a real estate multiple listing service (MLS) through which comparative analysis on property prices can be done.
“What has to be ensured is that the reference prices relate to not just a valuation but also to recent comparable properties sold.”
According to the latest document, current prices were prepared by use of registered transactions of property sales as per Land Administration Information System (LAIS) under the management of RLMUA.
It is noted that the current version of 2018-2019 considered data available for the period ending December 31, 2018 and future versions shall consider data available for the year preceding the year of publication.
The biggest count or number of transactions recorded in the 2015-2017 period, however, were in Masaka (2,102) and Nyamata (2,161) areas where the highest reference prices were Rwf 70, 435 and Rwf 47, 213, respectively.
Other areas of the country with high counts of transactions were Gahanga (1,754) and Ndera (1,520).
Land reference prices are updated on annual basis. The figures provided are always the maximum, the average and the minimum transactions occurred during the period under consideration.
“The land reference prices shall neither relieve valuers from their professional responsibility nor take away the usual practice of considering all required factors to exercise their profession adequately,” reads a section of the document.
Accordingly, valuers will always be expected to be ready to provide convincing explanations of how they arrived at a specific land price within the limits of the land reference prices for any single report produced and considering all factors of uniqueness of properties in the country.
The new document adds: “An example is that 50 people expropriated from a site where some plots have access to tarmac road while others don’t even have access to a road shall never be expropriated at the same rate of land. Where any strange or case of special consideration occurs, we encourage all users of the land reference prices to consult the Institute for necessary clarifications.”