Owning a home in Kenya, however, doesn’t come cheap and according to an economic update from the World Bank Group dubbed the Kenya Economic Update: Housing—Unavailable and Unaffordable report, close to 2 million Kenyans have no roof over their heads.
BuyRentKenya.com, one of Kenya’s leading property classified, undertook a study on the property price trends over the past 3 years from 2016 to 2019 to get the real picture on the ground on the value of these properties.
For purposes of this report, 3-bedroom apartments and townhouses for rent and for sale in the top suburbs in Nairobi and the emerging towns were chosen as the cornerstone of the study.
Over the past 3 years, it was discovered that there was a 45% increase in the ratio of property seekers to property listings and implies there are increased demand and restricted supply.
Interestingly, when looking at inflation rates compared to rising property prices, BuyRentKenya.com noticed that townhouses are more expensive compared to apartments in the same area.
This is especially evident in Lavington and Riverside while in places like Juja and Ruiru, there were no major changes in current sale prices against the inflation rates.
In emerging satellite towns, demand for townhouses for sale is on the rise.
Business Insider SSA decided to take a tour of five prime locations currently on both investor’s mind and ordinary folks who want a roof over their heads to see how they fared from 2016 up to 2019.
Property prices at Westland’s district of Nairobi remained fairly stable over the past three years signalling market maturity.
Rental prices in Westlands went up by 3% from Sh 150,000 ($1500) to Sh160,000 ($1600) over the past three years.
Westlands is home to major hotel brands which hold several conferences and meetings annually and attracts the expatriate community in Kenya.
Hosting the biggest mall in East Africa, Two Rivers, as well as a number of high-end malls such as Rosslyn Riviera, and Village Market, property prices in Ruaka were bound to rise and rise they did.
Rental prices in Ruaka grew by 3% over the last three years.
As a satellite town, demand for housing in Ruaka continues to grow powered by the construction of the Western Bypass which makes transportation easier and faster into the city centre.
In years to come, it is expected that high-end houses will come up in the area along with other property types like offices and retail stores to cater to the people living and working in Ruaka and the surrounding suburbs.
Going forward it is unlikely Ruaka will not lose its lustre thanks to its prime location, located just meters away to the UN offices.
Lavington area is one of the locations which recorded the highest rise in rental prices from 2016 to 2019.
Rental prices here jumped by 8% forcing tenants to dig deeper into their pockets to continue staying in the area or move out.
A tenant for a 3-bedroom apartment had to part with Sh90, 000 ($900) in 2016 only to pay Sh120, 000 ($1200) in 2019 for the same property.
Because of this rise, however, houses continue to remain vacant for long periods forcing investors to provide short-term occupancy.
There was an increased demand for housing in Syokimau with rental prices rising by 4% over the past 3 years.
The area has Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, access to Mombasa Road and the Syokimau train network, all which are in close proximity to thank for, something which continues to appeal to both homeowners and developers.
The price of an apartment for sale in Kitengela increased by 3% over the past 3 years while that of townhouses was up by 11%.
With the average price of an apartment going for Sh 8 million ($80,000), it is actually cheaper to buy an apartment in Kitengela in 2019 against the predicted Sh 9.6 million ($96,000) using the inflation rates from the Central Bank of Kenya.
Availability of social amenities such as good schools, shopping malls and hospitals as well as flexibility to get manpower and building materials easier continue to work in Kitengela’s favour.