Why investing your money in single rooms is a wise business idea

Single rooms are more popular with low income earners

Official data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics(KNBS) shows that rent for a one-room unit shot up 55 per cent to Sh4,310 compared to Sh 2,784 in 2011 while that for two-bedroom bungalows is up 32 per cent to an average of Sh29,210 compared to Sh22,152 over the same period.

This means tenants of two-bedroom units have benefited from slower rent rise while landlords who have put money developing single-room houses have raked in higher returns.

Three-bedroom maisonettes recorded a 34 per cent rise to Sh36,097 compared to Sh27,005 in 2011, marking the second slowest growth while rent for two-bedroom flats grew 50 per cent.

KNBS does not currently track rent for one-bedroom houses.

Low income earners

The rise in single-room rent, popular with low income earners, means the poor have been hard hit by rising renting costs.

A vast majority of the urban poor population opt for the small units whose charges fit their low budgets.

Poor homes spend 18.2 per cent of their income on rent and utilities while rich homes spend 19.8 per cent.

Nairobi’s middle class homes spend the bulk of their monthly income (23.6 per cent) on housing, utilities and cooking gas.

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