Market News

Nairobi building approvals fall to Sh100bn in first half

A construction site in Nairobi
A construction site in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Nairobi investors received reduced regulatory approvals at Sh100.8 billion for residential and commercial developments in the first six months of 2018 following a political stalemate in quarter one.

The latest release by Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, Leading Economic Indicators, June 2018, shows residential housing developments dominated with Sh63.18 billion while commercial buildings took up Sh37.58 billion.

The proposed investments are lower than last year’s where Sh149.5 billion projects were approved with residential developments accounting for Sh70.36 billion while commercial projects attracted Sh58.3 billion.

This informed production of 3.2 million tonnes of cement, out of which 2.97 million tonnes was consumed last year. This year production slightly dropped to 2.84 million tonnes with the market consuming at 2.75 million tonnes.

The investments in residential developments are informed by Kenya’s housing deficit of about two million units. Realtors have been blamed for only building houses for the affluent while neglecting the poor who live in deplorable conditions in the slums or in crowded rental units.


Production of galvanised iron sheets slightly dropped by 6,500 tonnes to stand at 111,562 tonnes indicating a drop in demand compared to last year’s 118,106 tonnes.

With the government’s planned intervention in the real-estate sector via mass adoption of affordable building technologies and giving of prime land for construction of housing units among other incentives for realtors, 2018 could witness a construction boom thereby helping unlock billions of shillings held in savings.