Plans on final stages to create Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company (KMRC)
The national Treasury of Kenya is leading discussions towards the creation of a Kenya mortgage refinancing company. This company will be registered as a limited liability company to be regulated and supervised by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK).
The KMRC will be mandated to provide long-term funds to the mortgage lenders. The government will provide equity capital contributions towards provisions of affordable housing in Kenya.
The KMRC will be financed by an initial debt valued at $160 million from the World Bank Group.
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance (CS) called upon bank CEOs and other stakeholders to invest in making this idea a reality.
The money will be lent to banks and other financial institutions to provide mortgages for affordable housing in Kenya in order to enable the government achieve her target of constructing 500,000 affordable housing units by 2022.
The company under the oversight of Capital Markets Authority (CMA) will issue mortgage backed bonds. As at the end of 2016, Kenya had 24,458 mortgage loans valued at USD$2 billion an equivalent of 3.15% of Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product. This is far lower compared to South Africa’s 30% of GDP in outstanding mortgages.
The Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is the home of the largest mortgages in Kenya.
The companies listed below also have mortgage refinancing companies;
Provision of 500,000 affordable housing units by 2022 is one of “The Big Four” legacy plans of President Uhuru Kenyatta. The other plans are; a) Manufacturing sector to contribute towards 15% of Gross Domestic Product; b) food security for all and c) universal health coverage.
It’s saddening to learn that only 26.1% of urban residents own the houses where they stay. This is because of many reasons including inadequate income.
Kenya already has a huge shortage of affordable housing with a backlog of 500,000 housing units and an additional shortage of 150,000 housing units every year.
During a meeting organized collaboratively by the National Treasury, Kenya Bankers Association and SASRA, challenges facing housing were highlighted. High construction costs, tiring land registration process and inadequate affordable land for housing projects among others.
a) Evaluation of Sectional Properties Act to fast-truck issuance of titles
b) Digitization as well as computerization of land records
c) Establishment of computerized titling center
d) re-engineering of the land process
Kenya’s SACCO sector is expected to play a central role in provision of mortgages towards affordable housing in Kenya.
Kenya’s SACCO sector is reported to be the largest in Africa according to World Organization of Credit Unions (WOCCU, 2014).
Finally, the KMRC is expected to be incorporated by end of April 2018 and afterwards the government will seek to acquire consultancy services towards developing a business plan for KMRC to be used in informing interest investors.