Nairobi’s Karen, Runda and Lavington suburbs registered the highest number of properties placed in the market in 2019, affected by loss of exclusivity, changes in zoning laws and expatriates shifting preference for serviced apartments.
Realtor HassConsult said in their 2019 housing and land price survey that Karen accounted for 31.2 percent of the supply of land advertised for sale in Nairobi suburbs.
HassConsult attributed this to recent infrastructural developments, especially roads that have opened up the area to commercial developments such as malls, hotels and academic institutions, forcing residents who chose to live in the areas due to its exclusivity to shift elsewhere.
The firm’s head of development consulting and research Sakina Hassanali said Runda, which has a large expatriate community, accounted for 13.3 percent of properties put on sale, indicating a changing of preferences from standalone properties to living in serviced apartments.
“Standalone houses are expensive to run with gardeners, cooks, security guards and utilities. They now prefer shared facilities that give them a benefit of shared costs and a sense of community,” she said.
In Lavington, more high-rise apartment blocks have been coming up, edging out homeowners who find that their privacy is compromised, as well as a strain on utilities such as water and sewerage.
In terms of price movement, the firm said Kitengela township reported the highest price increase in land prices at 19.4 percent owing to ongoing investments in infrastructure and private industrial investments that have seen Kenyans move there in search of jobs.
Limuru and Ngong towns have also enjoyed high buyer interest due to ongoing road construction that has opened them up for major residential investments, with Limuru experiencing a 9.5 percent rise in house prices while Ngong reported the highest rise in rental prices at 18.6 percent.
Upper Hill remained the most expensive location at Sh539 million an acre, even as it experienced a 2.3 percent drop mainly blamed on poor access roads to the area.
Karen, which now accommodates several high-end malls, elite schools, new five star hotels and a host of medical facilities saw an acre selling at Sh62.4 million while Lang’ata’s asking price stood at Sh65.7 million for an acre.