Unique Investors Property (UIP) Limited is one of the emerging land-buying firms enabling middle-income earners and casual workers access credit to finance land purchases
George Kebaso @Morarak
Barely 30 years old, Elizabeth Amoit is the proud owner of an eighth of an acre in a gated community project at fast growing town of Tinga-Oletepesi in Kajiado county.
She waved a piece of paper with jubilation as a group of photographers captured her moment of triumph. In her hands was her title deed for the plot. Amoit could afford the plot at Oletepesi for just Sh99,000 through the Unique Investors Property (UIP) Limited, a credit financing facility.
She paid a deposit of Sh19,800 (20 per cent of the actual price) and was required to clear the balance in 12 monthly instalments of Sh8,936. Amoit comes from a patriarchal community where women are not favoured by family property inheritance laws. She had to think quickly when she learnt about the company’s offers and paid the balance within four months.
Amoit was among 500 investors who recently got their title deeds in a move UIP has taken to enable average income earners.“I took the risk in January and now I have a plot.
However, the Ministry of Lands and Parliament should fast-track the processes of legislating the lands sector so that some of us can acquire property faster,” she said after receiving her title deed. Armed with just an offer letter, young Nairobians, who have been paying rent through their noses like Amoit, are now acquiring property in the outskirts of the city cheaply and with less bureaucracy.
Edison Mulamba, in his early 30s, is tired of Nairobi, which has become polluted and expensive. He is happy with UIP’s credit facility through which he has purchased two plots at a cost of Sh500,000. “When they came up with a credit facility, I did not hesitate.
Having dealt with them before, I am confident of their products. Buying land these days has become tricky especially in Nairobi,” he added. UIP is one of the emerging small- scale land-buying companies making it easier for middle-income earners and sometimes casual workers to access credit to finance their ambition to own property close to Nairobi.
UIP Real Estate Managing Director, Patrick Malika says they entered the market after noticing the lengthy, bureaucratic and discouraging processes and procedures customers seeking bank loans undergo. Sky-high interest rates for bank loans and mortgages worsen the situation.
“We came up with an idea to establish a credit facility to cater for this need,” he said when he issued title deeds to members in Nairobi. The UIP Credit Investment Financing facility has been specifically developed to meet the financial needs of investors.
It enables a purchaser of land to immediately acquire credit immediately after application and approval. UIP’s credit facility finances up to 80 per cent of the cost of the property. The credit facility repayment period ranges from one to 12 months.
Nevertheless, you can choose to make your repayments before the expiry of your credit tenure at no extra cost. Malika is targeting the regions where the value of land has not yet hit the roof. He said UIP is targeting young people because the future of an aging economy will depend on them.
A beneficiary, Bernard Lavussa, has for years tried to purchase a piece of land in Nairobi without success. He regrets that stamp duty costs for instance became a cash cow for greedy Lands ministry officials. There are also corrupt cartels and property transfers have never been easy.