After President Museveni extended the national lockdown by three more weeks, speculation and uncertainty have grown. Most people are worried there might be another extension with more Covid-19 cases being confirmed.
Just like others, the real estate sector has been badly affected by the pandemic and is struggling to keep afloat.
According to Shirely Kongai, the president of Association of Real Estate Agents in Uganda, the Covid-19 pandemic has had considerable impact on the sector and stakeholders are trying to come up with schemes and innovative ideas to remain afloat.
“With the current situation in the country, no serious transactions can really can go on in the real estate sector, given that land offices were also suspended for one month. The rental market was also suspended for the same period.
The only way forward now is to brainstorm and think of the way forward and how to look into other investment opportunities that can generate passive income,” Kongai says.
Kongai advises a change in investors’ perception and choice of investments. “If there is one thing people should learn from this situation, it should be the importance of diversifying their investments. A number of investors are now stuck with tenants who are unable to pay their rent. The most lucrative area to consider right now is farm land because this decade from 2020-2030 will heavily rely on agriculture,” Kongai shares.
She notes that while the pandemic is a terrible worldwide catastrophe for lives and livelihood, Kongai says this should be used as an opportunity for people and businesses to reinvent themselves and learn how to prepare for the unexpected.
Invest where you are
“What is happening now is more less a form of forced retirement. It is time to start asking yourself the tough financial questions and finding satisfactory solutions. One of the mentalities, which I hope will cease is people preferring to invest only in places they consider home to them. Anyone can invest wherever they are and prosper.