Land and property registration in Kenya is quite a tedious and time consuming process that has unfortunately hindered achievement of the affordable housing initiative. Compared to neighboring countries, the cost of property registration is relatively high in Kenya.
Luckily, the government has stepped in with major changes targeted at the Ministry of Land and Physical Planning. Some of which include the digitization of land registries. According to the ministry, Kenya is set to follow in the footsteps of Mauritia. The ministry aims to have property registration completed within 24 hours especially in an era with great internet penetration. In so doing, the time taken to register land and property will drastically reduce. Only key procedures will be maintained during the new registration process.
International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, in collaboration with the Government of Kenya has helped reduce the time and procedures involved in property registration. Apart from minimizing costs, digitization will greatly eradicate the need for long queues at the Lands offices to have property registered while also minimizing the opportunity for rogue brokers taking advantage of property owners.
Studies in the real estate sector show that high registration costs result in high prices of property that ultimately are transferred to consumers. This results in pricing out of lower income households who are unable to successfully apply for mortgagees because they do not hold any formal titles. Because of this most urban dwellers are hindered from being unable to own a plot nor buy a house nor even build.
To address some of these challenges, the World Bank-funded Kenya Affordable Housing Finance Project will provide technical assistance to the Land ministry to create an enabling environment for property registration, as part of the government’s goal of expanding access to affordable housing.
The Ministry of Land, through the World Bank supported Affordable Housing Finance Project, will enhance the design of the Lands Information Management System (LIMS) to serve as the sector’s single point of reference on all data related to administering and managing land parcels.
The country thereafter needs to consider legal reforms around property in a bid to complement the ongoing reforms.
Euro Trust Real Estate