, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – Mortgage rates remained high in the last three months, averaging 16.96 percent despite a continued drop of the Central Bank Rates which currently stands at 8.5 percent.
According to a property report by Hass Consult and The Mortgage Company, the best rate on offer from the mainstream mortgage market was 13.5 percent from CfC Stanbic bank, unchanged from the previous quarter.
The most expensive mortgage rates continued to be offered by Equity Bank, Diamond Trust Bank, Consolidated Bank and Family Bank at 18 percent.
The Mortgage Company Managing Director Caroline Kariuki said the high cost was affecting growth of home ownership in the country and even affecting the uptake of properties for rentals.
“Urgent attention needs to be given increasing the accessibility and eligibility for mortgages if we are to make a headway increasing home ownership to a wider band of Kenyans,” Kariuki noted.
“When a self employed customer walks to a financier, they are sure of one thing- that getting a mortgage is going to prove very difficult,” she lamented.
Currently there are only about 20,000 mortgages.
“The problem is even more acute in urban areas where less than 20 percent of the population are living in their homes compared to 70 percent in rural areas,” Hass Consult Property Director Farhana Hassanali said.
The report showed a rise in buying prices for apartments by 0.8 percent but a fall in asking rents of 1.3 percent.
The latter was attributed to continuing pressure on family and consumer budgets.
“The general subdued demand in this segment (apartments) is likely to continue now until the economy begins to heat up significantly,” Hassanali said.
There was also decline in asking prices for residential properties, by 1.5 percent in the last three months.