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The future of Kampala & why condominium is the thing – Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia

By an Executive Editor

On October 22, 2021, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the founder of Ruparelia Group of Companies appeared in a panel to discuss real estate in Uganda.

This was at the e-Bomba ya Business summit meeting, an annual business re-ignition activity hosted by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA).

The property mogul discussed issues around condominiums, what to consider before owning a property under an estate, owning versus renting a property in a real estate and what the future of condominium and penthouses in Uganda is.

Weighing on these, Ruparelia says people have been building houses and it takes them two hours every evening and two hours to come back.

Nothing wrong with that, he says, “but it’s the amount of time you could actually be using to increase your business.”

So, he says, “what the future I see happening is that people will have upcountry homes first but at the same time they will probably end up having from middle cost to high-end apartments in town. So they will probably work in the cities on weekdays and Fridays, maybe go upcountry and come back on Monday morning. That’s the future of Kampala I see.”

As far as real estate is concerned, he says Meera Investment is planning that way.

Condominiums are going to be the future, he says and adds: “It is affordable.”

“And not only that. It’s also secure,” Ruparelia says and explains why: “When you are living in an apartment block with 100 apartments, you are going to have proper security (normally you are not exposed on the ground level). So anybody who will try to come and rob you will have to think twice. Insecurity is also another issue which is quite high in the suburbs. People coming in at night, knocking down your gate and your security guard is already sleeping and that will actually push people into the condominium.”

According to Ruparelia, the other important aspect of condominium is when somebody has worked all their life and has got a plot on a very prime location in the City Centre, he says, “There comes a time when the couple and the children have been married off and they don’t need a very big property.”

That, he says, could be a transition “when you can actually sell your property or you can go into a joint venture with a reputable company where you can, say, lend, put up a 10-stotey apartment block, give me 6 apartments as my share on the land. This has the opportunities that will come. Now, the person doing that will be easier for them to liquidate the cash that they have in the asset they are holding and use the money while they are alive. So, you end up in a small place as a couple who doesn’t need that much space and have good accommodation, secure accommodation and you have cash to see you throughout your remaining life.”

So, Ruparelia says condominium is exciting and “Is it’s going to be there and also, traditionally our mentality Uganda is to buy land and as we get money, we keep building slowly-slowly and eventually we own a house but by the time you look at the distance from downtown, its far.”

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