Assessing the potential impact of Islamic banking on real estate development in Uganda
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This research study was aimed at assessing the potential impact of Islamic banking on real estate development in Uganda, a predominantly non-Islamic country freshly adopting Islamic banking and finance, taking a case study of Kampala. The main objective of the study was achieved by answering the secondary objectives formulated to carry out the study and these include; establishing the current sources of financing real estate developments used by real estate developers in Kampala; exploring the challenges faced by real estate developers when financing real estate development projects; assessing the awareness and perceptions of the real estate developers regarding Islamic banking financial services; and exploring the potential uptake of Islamic bank financing options by real estate developers. Data was collected from ninety (90) real estate developers, all clients of the 48 valuation and real estate consultancy firms in Kampala, by supplying them with self-administered questionnaires. The responses obtained were analyzed using Microsoft excel spreadsheets and the findings were presented in form of percentages, tables, graphs and charts. The research study findings indicate that there were several options that real estate developers could pick from whenever they needed to finance their real estate development projects, however, most of the developers preferred financing their real estate development projects with bank loans in combination with owner’s equity/their own funds; most of the real estate developers cited high interest rates as the major challenge whenever they tried to seek finance from commercial banks or other financial service providers, for financing their real estate development projects; the level of awareness regarding the existence of Islamic banking and finance in Uganda was high amongst the respondents, but their level of knowledge regarding Islamic banking and finance was little, and after learning that Islamic banking and finance offers finance without the need for collateral security and the non-attachment of interest rates on the Islamic banking financial services, the respondent-real estate developers’ perceptions towards the banking and finance system were generally good; the respondents’ likeliness to take up Islamic banking financial services to finance their real estate developments was high according to the study. The study therefore finds that Islamic banking and financial services will most-likely be taken up by real estate developers in financing real estate development projects and thus Islamic banking will most-likely have a positive impact on real estate development upon full adoption of the banking and finance system in Uganda.