Market News

Renters pay double for city centre apartments

cbd

Summary

  • The monthly rent for a one-bedroom house in the CBD is about $432.33 (Sh49,761) compared to $191.32 (Sh22,020) in the suburbs.
  • Location is the primary determining factor of housing prices in the capital cities with the prime properties in or close to the CBD consistently outperforming those farther from the business district.
  • Rental houses close to the CBD in Upper Hill, Muthaiga, Ngara and Westlands cost more than those in the suburbs like Syokimau, Kitengela and Athi River.

Renting apartments in Nairobi’s central business district (CBD) can be up to 126 percent more expensive than leasing properties in the capital’s periphery, according to market and consumer data firm Statista.

The monthly rent for a one-bedroom house in the CBD is about $432.33 (Sh49,761) compared to $191.32 (Sh22,020) in the suburbs. A three-bedroom apartment in the CBD costs an average of $990.75 (Sh114,035) a month while leasing a similar property on the outskirts of the city costs $476.21 (Sh54,811).

“In Nairobi, Kenya, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre cost almost as much as a three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre in 2022,” said Statista.

The data shows the high returns enjoyed by landlords owning properties in the core areas of the city. The returns are particularly high for those who built or acquired the houses more than a decade ago when building costs and buying prices were relatively lower.

Location is the primary determining factor of housing prices in the capital cities with the prime properties in or close to the CBD consistently outperforming those farther from the business district.

Rental houses close to the CBD in Upper Hill, Muthaiga, Ngara and Westlands cost more than those in the suburbs like Syokimau, Kitengela and Athi River.

Those living within the limits of a big city pay a premium for proximity to jobs and diverse social and economic facilities, including hospitals and restaurants.

The rents also reflect the relatively higher cost landlords of CBD properties face in buying and maintaining the units.

Those living in the suburbs enjoy cheaper houses at the cost of greater commuting distance, long hours in traffic, expensive fares on public transport vehicles to and from work and more fuel consumption for car owners.

Nairobi developed into a CBD where most formal sector jobs and economic activities are concentrated.

The expansion of the suburbs has, however, reduced reliance on the CBD by creating local economic communities with their supermarkets, banks and entertainment joints.

Properties in the core of the capital nonetheless continue to command a premium.

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