KIGALI - Real estate developers have observed that it is more affordable to live in apartments than bungalows.
This follows the recent announcement by the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) of plans to launch a sensitisation campaign aimed at encouraging residents of Kigali City and other urban areas to opt for residential apartment buildings as a way of managing land.
During an interview with The New Times, Charles Haba, the Managing Director of Century Real Estate, said that life in an apartment would enable Rwandans to easily access all the basic needs in their daily lives.
He noted that the move has the backing of the recently promulgated Condominium Law, which allows a person to own a condo within an apartment block.
“This is a big step in the right direction concerning the government policy of encouraging the population to reside in apartments,” Haba said.
“Our City Master Plan indicates that we do not have enough land where we can build bungalows because most of Kigali City and the rest of the country is mountainous, so the best way to effectively and efficiently utilise the available land is to live in apartments.”
Haba added that the Condominium Law also enables people who want to buy or construct apartments obtain loans from banks and micro finance institutions, saying that this would enable more apartments to be constructed.
He further observed that living in bungalows is more expensive compared to apartments as they are individually rented yet the latter can be shared by as many people as possible.
Charles Rugira, the General Manager of Real Contractors, said that apartments would enable the government to maintain the number of rural-urban migrants.
“Living in apartments will help to reduce suburbs within cities countrywide and this will also allow easy redevelopment of the cities compared to residential style where buildings are scattered,” Rugira said
He said that his company will soon begin developing apartments in Kagarama Sector, Kicukiro District as a pilot project noting that they have completed the architectural designs.
According to Rugira, a two-bedroom unit will cost around Rwf40million.Joseph Kabukha, the Managing Director of DN International, noted that staying in well developed apartments is environmentally friendly as it reduces environmental hazards that are caused by human activities.
“The cost of buying land in Kigali and other cities across the country is becoming quite expensive and this can easily be solved through living in flats as this will enable the citizens to share this cost,” Kabukha said.
He also noted that next year, DN International would embark on a-four-year project to construct 700 units in Kinyinya sector, Gasabo District, which will be available at between Rwf30 million to Rwf50 million each.
“Living in apartments will solve the challenge of scarcity of land and it will also enable the Rwandans to get all the required amenities like electricity, roads and better garbage collection,” Kabukha added.
He added that banks have been charging an interest rate of 18 percent on mortgage facilities, which according to him, will reduce after government’s intervention to allow people to buy houses.
This, Kabukha said, will enable people to buy apartments.