UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Knight Frank Uganda, a leading property consultancy firm in Uganda with one of the nation’s most extensive commercial and residential portfolios, predicts that Uganda’s real estate market is set to grow once again with the reopening of the night economy. Uganda’s real estate business has shown some resiliency in the second six months of 2021 and will continue to rebound, they say.
The night economy reopened entirely on Monday, January 24, 2022, after being shuttered for more than two years following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to H2 2021 Kampala Market Performance Review report, the retail sector had plummeted by 12% due to the lockdown restrictions.
The real estate specialists said on Monday, following the presentation of the Kampala market performance evaluation for the second half of 2021, that all indications reveal the sector, particularly the retail business, is performing well.
“The lockdown and its effects like the curfew have had a big impact on the retail industry in Uganda. The general consumer behaviour is very different from the surround markets. In reality it is very different and has been independent on the restrictions imposed in Uganda,” said Marc Du Toit, the Head of Retail Agency and Management at Knight Frank Uganda.
“Uganda is a much-later trading consumer because the safety and security we enjoy here compared to the likes of Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa etc. The retail trades in the evenings into the night. Even in the arcades downtown, 8 and 9am there is no activity but starts at 11am and goes to 8pm or 9pm. So the curfew has had a big impact on retail without a doubt.”
Du Toit added that when the curfew was imposed, there was a drop in expenditure due to consumer behaviour, which he noted is difficult to modify.
“It takes a generation to change consumer behaviour and the reopening of the economy is something we have prayed about for the last 18 months.”
Demand is Increasing
According to Knight Frank’s real estate analysts, demand for office occupancy has increased gradually by 4% in the second half of 2021, with the relaxation of the lockdown set to increase this further.
As a result, there is a scarcity of prime space available for immediate occupancy.
Knight Frank attributes the increase in demand to the repatriation of expatriates and the need for greater office space by oil-related enterprises actively engaged in Uganda’s oil sector, and insurance companies.
According to Judy Rugasira Kyanda, Managing Director of Knight Frank Uganda, the increased demand for office space is still difficult to accurately predict due to the uncertainties that COVID-19 brings.
“We have been very cautious on putting numbers to this demand because projections have not come to pass in real time but have been postponed, extended or rescheduled in the future ,” Rugasira said.
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