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Wednesday, October 23, 2019
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Shock as customer houses worth Sh. 2 billion to be auctioned

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HF Houses: Housing Finance has put up customer houses worth Sh. 2 billion for auction. According to a report that appeared in Kenyan business newspaper, Business Daily, Housing Finance – popularly known as HF – has already signed up auctioneers to sell off the houses and commercial buildings.

“HF is selling 11 of the properties on behalf of customers in what is known as private treaty, which allows for disposal at market prices and the owner keeps the difference after offsetting the loan balance. Majority of the 54 properties that are on sale in Nairobi and its environs are standalone houses and apartments whose reserve prices range from Sh. 3.4 million to Sh. 300 million,” says the newspaper report.

Homeowners in shock as Sh. 2bn Sunset Boulevard estate to be auctioned

The report further says that “the priciest property listed for auction by the bank is a five-storey, Sh. 300 million commercial building in Nairobi West built on 0.18 acres, which currently houses a hotel. Another hotel property in Ngara is being sold at Sh. 260 million by private treaty, while a house in Kileleshwa is up for auction for Sh. 155 million. Other pricey sales include two Sh. 65 million houses in Karen and Embulbul in Kajiado County, and a block of 30 apartments houses in Ngong for Sh. 195 million, some of which have already been sold. The lender is also auctioning 11 apartments in a housing block in Kilimani for Sh. 198 million in total.”

Housing Finance has been struggling with non-performing loans as has been the general banking sector. Banking sector data compiled from the lenders’ financial reports shows that gross non-performing loans increased by Sh. 27.5 billion or 8.7 percent in the first quarter of 2019. The non-performing loans piled up even as banks reported a 22 percent year-on-year rise in first quarter net profit to Sh. 33.6 billion. “The effect of the tough environment their customers are facing is, in the short-term, manifested in the rising gross NPLs and not necessarily in the top-line. However, in the long-run, if the current situation persists, we could see declines in the bank’s revenue,” said Harrison Gitau, the head of research at stockbrokerage firm Apex Africa.

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