Nairobi residents are ditching city estates for far-flung but cheaper satellite towns after rent go through the roof

3-5 bedroom apartment for rent in Westlands, Nairobi. (Knight Frank)
  • On Tuesday, Realtor HassConsult revealed that asking rents in the city have surged nearly threefold since 2007.
  • Satellite towns like Ngong, Kitengela, Rongai, Ruai and Ruiru, are the most popular choices for the ‘fleeing’ Nairobi residents.
  • Thika recorded the highest annual growth in rents at 13.3%.

Nairobi city residents are ditching rented homes in city estates in droves and moving to satellites towns out of the city as rent continues to soar unabated.

On Tuesday, Realtor HassConsult while releasing its first quarter residential and land price indices, revealed that asking rents in the city have surged nearly threefold since 2007, pushing many residents who cannot keep up to far-flung areas out of the city.

Satellite towns like Ngong, Kitengela, Rongai, Ruai and Ruiru, are the most popular choices for the ‘fleeing’ Nairobi residents. As a result of the influx of new customers, these same towns are now recording a rise in rents.

“Asking rents for a modern apartment here may cost as little as Sh23,400 and this bodes well for many tenants who are now preferring affordable units as they take caution to save in the wake of job losses across all sectors,” Hass Consult head of development, consulting and research Sakina Hassanali said.

Ms. Hassanali added that they had noticed a trend where city residents would rather dig deeper into their pockets for transport and spend more time in longer commutes but get the cheaper homes. 

“As the cost of living soars, the lower middle class is opting to pay slightly more in transport but less in rents.”

The report also reveals that land prices within the city have increased 638% since 2017 while the city’s satellite towns in Kiambu and Kajiado have witnessed a 894% price jump over the same period

Thika recorded the highest annual growth in rents at 13.3% while Tigoni had the highest quarterly rate increase at 3.5%.

Kenya’s housing deficit is estimated at two million units, according to official estimates, though current production is only adding around 50,000 per year.

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