Real estate developers root for housing, property policy

12Sep 2019
Marc Nkwame
The Guardian
Real estate developers root for housing, property policy

REAL estate stakeholders meeting in Arusha have called on the government to put in place a national housing and property policy to guide the fast-growing sector.

Prof Joseph Kironde from the Department of Land Management and Evaluation at Ardhi University pointed out that most developing countries have such policy and it is high time Tanzania formulates one. This will help formalize the country’s investments in properties and safeguard the rights of both landlords and tenants.

“Residential properties for instance need to be classified and standardized therefore rental fees should be charged according to a particular class under which the property has been graded,” the don stated.

He was presenting a paper at the ongoing 19th edition of the African Real Estate Society Conference (AfRES) series, taking place at the Arusha International Conference Center (AICC).

Oscar Mgaya, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company (TMRC) who was the main guest at the conference pointed out that investing in real estate was not only different but also quite sensitive as it cross-cuts into other sectors “and needs to be handled with utmost care.”

On his part, the president of the Tanzania Real Estate Professionals Association, Edward Mbambukila said the real estate sector in Tanzania is self-sufficient such that it does not require foreign intervention as far as capital is concerned.

Dr Felician Komu, the event coordinator said the conference theme was ‘Developing New Frontiers for the African Real Estate Sector,’ in recognition of the evolving dialogues from the past 18 annual conferences.

This dialogue has shifted from a focus on natural resources management (land, sustainability and environment) in the early years (2001-2007) to real estate markets in the latter years (2009-2018).

The 2019 conference theme pays attention to emerging issues in the 21st century such as the fourth industrial revolution and the application of smart technologies in real estate markets and education, he stated.

The key events offered by the 19th Annual AfRES conference include policy dialogues in the form of plenary sessions in three key areas, namely land tenure and agricultural transformation and Industrialization in Africa, real estate regulation and real estate education.

These areas are covered in keynote presentations from renowned scholars on valuation standards, alternative dispute resolution and mediation, as well as international property measurement standards, he elaborated.

The conference is being attended by around 300 participants, mostly members of academia from 24 countries. A total of 26 institutions of higher learning represented by their faculty staff are scheduled to make presentations.

Arusha is hosting the AfRES Conference for the second time, the first being in 2001 at its third meeting. Mauritius, on the other hand, is expected to host next year’s (2020) conference.