Since independence, Kololo has maintained it’s top position as the best residential area in Kampala and by extension Uganda. Not anyone can live in Kololo because land there doesn’t come cheap. Established by colonialists as a good residential area with better streets, Kololo remains the epitome of class for top government officials and diplomats. In spite of the fact that the city keeps expanding and therefore necessitating that areas that were once residential are turned into commercial, Kololo remains the closest residential area that has “refused” to be turned into a commercial area.
Real estate prices in Kololo compete with those in some cities like Washington, Tokyo and Paris. A half an acre pice of land in Kololo can be as expensive as $ 5Million. One wonders whether the return on investment in Kololo is worth it or people buy in the area for prestige purposes only. When Kololo was full, people with lots of cash started moving a bit further out of the city and the following are the areas adjacent to the city that are well known to host the rich guys. These include; Muyenga, Naguru, Kansanga, Munyonyo, Buziga, Ntinda, and Bunga. When these areas were fully settled, people with new found riches moved further away from the city into areas like Lubowa, Sseguku, Akright Estate, Nalya, Namugongo, Kira, and Kyaliwajala. The upcoming middle income people are getting scattered all over the city with no particular preference. Some are of the view that they would rather spend their money on putting up a better house in a poor location than spending a fortune on land in very pricey neighbourhoods. Such people have built in areas such as Along Gayaza Road, Jinja Road all the way to Mukono, and Luzira side etc.
The people on the lowest ladder of income have chose to build in Nansana along Hoima Road, Kampala-Masaka Road all the way up to Nsangi and in Bulenga on Mityana Road. The very poorest group have build along Sentema Road. and Bombo Road. Not many rich neighbourhoods are being created of recent possibly due to confusion in the market but also shortage of land close to the city. In a few years to come, we are likely to see a lot of gentrification both by government and private individuals with people returning back closer to the city. Already, the transit times are getting more cumbersome as the city continues to expand in all directions. Transport, mobility and access are key factors that people consider in choosing the places of residence. Given that most vital services are situated within the CBD, it’s natural that people choose to stay as close to those services as possible.
We are indeed starting to see a trend of real estate companies building high rise residential apartments. This is likely to be the trend for some time as people seek to maximize space and get maximum returns on their investments. Demand for residential houses will continue to outstrip that of office space because of surpressed business environment as most businesses may not afford high end office space but can afford to spend more on where they reside. In short, we are building a city which we shall demolish in a few years to come because no body know how and where we should live and where our city is heading exactly.