Mushrooming malls raise a case of concern for real estate experts

Mushrooming malls raise a case of concern for real estate experts
John Walugembe, the Executive Director of the Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises.

The high number of shopping malls which are mushrooming at an alarming rate in Kampala metropolitan has sparked debate.

Some say the rate at which shopping malls are being set up is too much for a population that does not yet appreciate shopping as an experience, while others say it speaks to the flourishing real estate sector.

Hundreds of shopping malls are spread across the country and generate each year around billions of shillings, which explains the massive investment by the haves.

Investments that were previously thought to be a preserve of Kampala tycoons, have now spread across the country and more so Kampala metropolitan areas.

But while the Covid 19 pandemic largely constrained consumer spending with some business owners closing shop, real estate developers believe this is the new investment opportunity that shall drive the economy if properly utilized.

“The Covid 19 pandemic left different malls in loses after businesses were closed and were asked to vacate town and close shops, so I believe this is a game changer in increasing the country’s GDP to about 12%”, Racheal Arinaitwe, an expert said.

Malls constitute the essence of shopping, given that there are a multitude of different shops in one place with cafés and restaurants too so that people can relax.

However, even when there is a decline in shopping traffic in malls, investment in shopping malls is expected to grow tremendously.

Senior economist John Walugembe attributes the mushrooming shopping malls to global trends of Uganda wanting to adopt the middle class.

With the increasing urbanization rate, Walugembe believes investing in other sectors that have multiplier effects like Industry that also drive consumption is the magic bullet to growing the economy other than investing in one economy.

“There are many sectors that have multiplier effects sectors like manufacturing that shall employ over 10,000- youths that have no jobs”, Walugembe said

In the previous years the real estate performance has been promising, however to remain competitive, developers will have no choice but to renovate their properties to modern standards.

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