Kenyans are increasingly opting for dual ownership when buying property or servicing mortgages, according to a survey by a real estate consultancy, which points to the changing trends where pooling of resources is becoming a cushion against the escalating of cost of houses.

The report commissioned by HassConsult shows that the number of property bought by couples and institutions has grown, a phenomenon brought by the skyrocketing mortgage rates and housing prices. “With mortgage rates putting buying out of reach for all except those on the country’s very highest salaries, one of the trends now clearly emerging is dual ownership in order to service repayments, as well as institutional buying,” said Ms Nancy Muthoni, host of The Property Show on KTN and co-sponsor of the quarterly survey.

According to the findings, institutions accounted for 11.9% of property bought by 2012 compared by a mere 6.3% four years ago. On the other hand, by 2012 couples had taken up 19.5% of the property on offer compared to 4.7% in 2008. “It is a trend that further highlights the need to access cheaper housing finance if we are to achieve the targets set by the government in moving any significant portion of the Kenyan population into home ownership,” noted Ms Muthoni.

Despite the government’s efforts to get banks lower mortgage rates pegged on the new Kenya Banks’ Reference Rate (9.13 per cent), the report notes that there was no decline by the end of July this year, with the average mortgage rate standing at 16.02%.

As a result, apartment purchasing remains beyond the reach of nearly all professionals, with mortgage repayments exceeding average salaries across pharmacists, accountants, architects, marketers, and most other careers. Only executives come close to earning the salaries necessary to reach the current Kenyan mortgage repayments.

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