Infrastructure developments around Nairobi have led to a property boom on the outskirts of the city, prompting an exodus of people from the city centre in search of property further afield.
This finding is contained in the first quarterly report from leading property portal Lamudi Kenya’s, which reveals that people are looking to relocate to satellite towns within the metropolis of Nairobi.
As a result, areas including Athi River and Kitengela on Mombasa Road, Thika and
Ruiru on the Thika Superhighway, Kiambu, Kikuyu and Ruaka have become more highly sought-after with house-hunters. The report indicates that property prices in these areas have been on an upward trend due to the increasing demand for real estate to meet the growing population.
Athi River, Kitengela, Thika and Ngong’ towns have been transformed to become the most sought-after areas for affordable and valuable housing facilities. Property in theses areas now retails for 11 million shillings on average for a three-bedroom town house, a 10 percent increase from the last quarter of 2014.
“The low income market segment still remains untapped and these areas have become a favourite for affordable housing. Coupled with the presence of adequate infrastructure, these areas are now highly sought-after with those looking to buy or rent a home in Nairobi.” Says Lamudi Kenya Managing Director Dan Karua said:
Kiambu has become a preferred destination for luxurious yet affordable houses, with property here ranging from 14 million shillings to 19 million shillings for a three-bedroom house.
Closer to Kiambu, Ruaka is creating a name for itself in the real estate sector. The former tea plantations are now home to luxurious rental apartments ranging between Kshs 20,000 to Kshs 30,000 for one- and two-bedroom apartments.
The area will also soon be home to three shopping malls, namely Two Rivers Mall (the largest in East Africa), Riviera Mall and Village Market. Kenya’s stable economic environment has further bolstered the growth of real estate sector.
The government is currently pushing for a stronger middle income economy after the rebasing of the economy, which saw the country claim middle income status, further steering developments in the property sector.
“The growth the real estate sector is experiencing is monumental and with the current conducive business environment, the sector will only go from strength to strength. The rebasing indicated that the construction and allied sectors accounted for 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), a clear indication of the potential the property sector has,” Mr. Karua noted.
The growth of the middle class has facilitated the growth of shopping malls and commercial spaces. Areas such as Upperhill and Westlands have proved to be the most preferred for office spaces while areas along Mombasa Road are most popular for industrial spaces.
This is primarily because of the proximity of Upperhill and Westlands to Nairobi’s central business district, while Mombasa Road is a major trunk road for East and Central Africa and therefore goods are easily transported along the road.
However, among the commuter towns, buying a commercial space in Kiambu is the most expensive at 18 million shillings. Lamudi quarterly report also indicates that technological trends in the real estate sector are gaining traction as more people are now searching for houses online.
The rising internet penetration, which stands at 64.3 percent according to the Communications Authority of Kenya, has forced businesses to realign their services to meet the growing internet usage around the country.