UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Living in posh suburbs is a dream of many individuals worldwide, and Kampala is no exception. However, the standard of living is usually intertwined with the cost of living, which is predominantly driven by one’s income.
In Uganda, the number of middle-class citizens is growing steadily, and the Uganda National Household Survey and the Ministry of Finance have reported that the country has 15.64 million middle-class citizens, an increase from 14.12 million in 2017.
Living in Kampala, Uganda can be expensive, especially in posh suburbs like Munyonyo, Najjera, Naalya, Seguku, Kisaasi, Kisugu, Kirinya, Kyaliwajala/Namugongo, and Makindye.
The following are some of the posh suburbs in Kampala, their rental costs, and other expenses.
Naalya is a suburb that has grown rapidly over the years, with modern apartments and malls. The suburb has many supermarkets, including Quality, Metroplex, Nice Price, and Global.
According to Boniface Musiimenta, the Director of Musbon Real Estate, the cost of a one-bedroom apartment in Naalya ranges between UGX 700,000 ($200) to UGX 1,000,000 ($286) per month, while a two-bedroom apartment costs around UGX 1,000,000 ($286) and a three-bedroom apartment costs between UGX 1,500,000 ($429) and UGX 2,000,000 ($571) per month.
Standalone bungalows go for about $1,000 (about UGX 3.7m), while studio rooms (single self-contained rooms) are at UGX 400,000 ($114) per month.
Public transport from Naalya to the city centre costs an average of UGX 5,000 ($1.4) for a boda-boda and UGX 2,000 ($0.6) for a taxi.
Compared to Naalya, Najjera is about a third cheaper in terms of rental costs. The cost of a one-bedroomed apartment ranges from UGX 500,000 ($143) to UGX 700,000 ($200) per month, while a two-bedroom apartment costs between UGX 700,000 ($200) and UGX 1,000,000 ($286).
A three-bedroom apartment is between UGX 1,200,000 ($343) and UGX 1,500,000 ($429) per month, while studio rooms range from UGX 300,000 ($86) to UGX 400,000 ($114) per month.
For a better understanding of the cost of living, a conversation with Robert O Buleya, a family head of six living in a two-bedroom house, shades some light.
“The money I spend on food lately has increased a great deal. In fact, whenever I can, I shop in bulk from downtown on weekends to minimise the cost,” he says.
In Najjera, landlords may either include or exclude the cost of rubbish collection, depending on the tenancy agreement. Also, gated residences in the area pay more for security than those who are not.
Seguku Katale is an upcoming residential area with new apartments and bungalows. Although single rooms are hard to come by, apartments cost between UGX 400,000 ($114) and UGX 500,000 ($143) for a one-bedroom house, while two-bedroom houses cost between UGX 500,000 ($143) and UGX 700,000 ($200), depending on the location.
Public transport to the city centre costs around UGX 5,000 ($1.4) for a boda-boda and UGX 2,000 ($0.6) to UGX 3,000 ($0.9) for a taxi.
Munyonyo is a posh suburb on the shores of Lake Victoria. Ibrahim Masoud, Director of I.M. property services says it is very difficult to find single rooms in Munyonyo, but there are self-contained and cost about UGX 300,000 ($86) per month.
Double-roomed apartments go for about UGX 700,000 ($200), while bungalows with similar specifications cost about UGX 600,000 ($171) to UGX 4m, depending on the location.
Masoud says that in Munyonyo, landlords provide services such as rubbish collection, and security.
However, food costs are slightly higher than in other areas due to a lack of kiosks except for a few supermarkets. Public transport to the city centre costs about UGX 7,000 for a boda boda and from UGX 2,000 to UGX 3,000 for taxis.
For those with families to cater for, grocery costs in Kisaasi are 50,000 for a bunch of matooke, UGX 6,000 for rice, UGX 5,500 for sugar, UGX 16,000 for beef per kilogram, and UGX 30,000 for off layers.
Jordan Kwezi, a resident of Kisugu likes the fact that he stays near his workplace, making commuting easier.
The cost of a one-bedroom house is UGX 200,000, while a two-bedroom house costs UGX 300,000, and a three-bedroom house ranges from UGX 450,000 to UGX 600,000, depending on the location and if it is enclosed.
Rubbish collection in Kisugu is UGX 5,000 per month, while public transport is UGX 1,500 for a taxi and UGX 5,000 for a boda boda. In terms of groceries, matooke is UGX 40,000 for a bunch of four fingers, UGX 5,500 for rice, UGX 3,000 for posho per kilo, UGX 5,000 for sugar (not factory packed), UGX 16,000 for beef per kilo, UGX 15,000 for pork, and UGX 20,000 for Nile perch per kilo.
Milka Opio, a resident of Kirinya, reveals that homes similar to hers cost UGX 400,000 for a one-bedroom house, UGX 500,000 for a two-bedroom house, and UGX 700,000 to UGX 800,000 for a three-bedroom house.
However, the rent increases if the house is in a gate or for newer establishments. Rubbish collection in Kirinya is UGX 30,000 per month, while public transport costs UGX 3,000 for a taxi and UGX 7,000 for a boda boda.
In terms of groceries, matooke costs UGX 1,000 for four fingers, UGX 4,200 for rice, UGX 8,000 for sugar, UGX 14,000 to UGX 15,000 for beef per kilo, UGX 25,000 to UGX35,000 for off layers, UGX 15,000 for broilers, and UGX 5,000 for half a litre of cooking oil.
Rita Nakirya has been living in Kyaliwajala/Namugongo for more than ten years and has watched the rent prices skyrocket.
When she started renting, her two-bedroomed house was UGX 350,000. However, today, she says the two-bedroomed house is at UGX 700,000.
On the other hand, one-bedroomed houses are UGX 500,000, while three-bedroomed houses are UGX 700,000 for bungalows.
The rent for apartments is even higher, with one-bedroomed apartments going for UGX 700,000, two-bedroomed ones for UGX 800,000, and three-bedroomed ones for UGX 900,000.
However, older houses command lower rent prices, while bigger houses come at a premium because they are rare, especially in older establishments.
Additionally, rubbish collection is sometimes done at a common collection point, and the landlord takes it from there. In other cases, the monthly cost of rubbish collection is UGX 5,000.
Public transportation costs approximately UGX 3,000 for a taxi ride to Kampala and UGX 5,000 for a boda-boda ride.
When it comes to groceries, a bunch of matooke is UGX 50,000, rice is UGX 6,000 per kilogramme, posho costs UGX 4,000 per kilo, sugar is at UGX 5,500, beef is at UGX 16,000 per kilo, while the chicken is UGX 30,000 for off-layers and UGX 20,000 for broilers.
Christina Kalema has been living in Makindye since childhood, but now she must fend for herself.
Christina says that a one-bedroomed house costs UGX 400,000, a two-bedroomed one costs UGX 600,000, while a three-bedroomed one goes for about UGX 800,000. The monthly cost of rubbish collection is UGX 7,000.
A taxi ride costs UGX 2,500, while a boda-boda ride costs UGX 6,000. Groceries in Makindye have similar prices to those in Kyaliwajala/Namugongo.
Before making a crucial decision on where to rent a home in Kampala, it is essential to consider the cost implications carefully.
The cost of living in posh suburbs such as Kyaliwajala/Namugongo and Makindye is relatively high, with rent taking a significant chunk of monthly expenses.
Transportation and grocery costs are also significant expenses to consider. However, the prices may vary depending on factors such as the age of the property and its location.
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