KCB, second largest mortgage financier, will hold its last property tour  this year for potential home buyers this Saturday as it cranks up plans to set up own building arm.

The tour, in six caravans, was earlier should for last Saturday but put off due to historic visit by Pope Francis between Wednesday and Friday, last week.

Speaking ahead of the tour, KCB director of mortgage business Samuel Muturi said the lender is focusing on partnerships with developers to grow its portfolio.

Muturi said plan KCB’s plans to venture into property development were at an advanced stage. The plan is part of the grand strategy to separate the mortgage lending department from the banking business. The strategy targets to put up “affordable” units for prospective low- to middle-income homeowners.

“The bank’s aim is to build solid partnerships with the like-minded investors willing to invest in the sector with a view to reducing housing deficit in the property sub-sector,” he said.

In an earlier interview in August, Muturi said KCB will accumulate land banks for future projects countrywide as it seeks to tackle the biting challenge of scarcity of suitable land for developing affordable housing units.

“The [mortgage] subsidiary is targeting to enter the construction sector by building cheaper houses targeting emerging middle class,” he said in an emailed statement. “The subsidiary will get a chance to get its own capital and look for partners.”

KCB has been engaging development partners in Brazil and Mexico for seed capital as it looks to deploy affordable building technology for its proposed units.

“The bank hopes to ride on the technology to build houses priced between Sh1 million and Sh3 million,” Muturi had said, adding that “raising of cheap offshore funds will help pass pricing benefits to the mortgage end buyer”.

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