EDITORIAL: Mortgage plan timely

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Treasury’s push for the implementation of Kenya’s new mortgage refinancing company to help would-be homeowners who struggle to secure home loans offers hope for many middle income earners who have hitherto been locked out of the mortgage market.

The Kenya Mortgage Refinance Company (KMRC) offers an opportunity for households in the low and middle income bracket to buy affordable houses by making it easier for banks to access long-term finance for home loans for onward lending to such households.

This is the best bet to increase home ownership and jerk up mortgage accounts in a country where loans are measly compared to the size of Kenya’s economy. Total outstanding mortgage debt stood at about Sh223 billion in 2017, or 2.7 per cent of GDP, according to central bank data. South Africa’s mortgage industry is 31 per cent of GDP.

Treasury honchos expect that KMRC will increase the number of mortgages to over 60,000 by 2022 from the current 26,000.

We urge the government to aggressively push the KMRC agenda and ensure it offers affordable loans to the masses in the quest for increase the supply of fairly-priced homes.

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