NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya’s property sector recovered in the fourth
quarter of 2018 due to strong economic growth, experts said on
Sakina Hassanali, head of development, consulting and
research at real estate firm Hass Consult, told journalists in
Nairobi that the economic slowdown of the last two years has
played out across the real estate industry, slowing activity and
uptake and leading in some few places, such as apartment
rentals, to actual price falls.
"However, after some early signs of recovery from the middle
of last year, the industry experienced a marked and general
recovery in the fourth quarter which resulted in working class
and middle-class Kenyans beginning to experience some
improvement in their disposable incomes," Hassanali said.
She noted that there was an industry-wide recovery in the
final months of 2018, with rents rising, sales prices rising,
and industry activity picking up generally, after the marked
declines of 2017 and early 2018.
"The strongest recovery came in apartment rental prices,
which have suffered almost a decade of lack-lustre growth,
driven by intensive building throughout Nairobi and its
suburbs," Hassanali said.
She added that the somewhat slower pace of apartment building
in the last two years has finally seen demand catching up with
the available space, lifting occupancy and driving apartment
rents upwards sharply by November and December 2018.
She observed that overall, apartment rental prices rose by
15.9 percent, which was the most marked rise since mid-2009.
"As the leading asset class within real estate for private
landlords, apartments have been among the most volatile for
pricing, but the falls in apartment rental prices throughout
2017 gave way to stabilizing prices from January 2018, and a
surge in rents by the final quarter of the year," she revealed.
According to Hass Consult, the weakest recovery was in the
segment of the property market dominated by international
renters and thus affected by the ongoing global slowdown.
Chinese contractors play
positive role in Kenya’s housing market: Expert
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Chinese contractors are playing a positive role
in Kenya’s housing market, a land expert said on Wednesday.
Mwenda Makathimo, executive director of the Land Development
and Governance Institute (LDGI) which advocates for land justice
by empowering local communities in Kenya, told Xinhua in Nairobi
that Chinese contractors have improved the turnaround time for
the real estate sector.
"Chinese contractors have increased the supply of affordable
houses and hence help to stabilize the price of houses in the
country," Makathimo said during the release of a report on the
status of service delivery in the land sector.
The report recommends the government to computerize land
records in order to ensure easy and faster retrieval of
Makathimo, former chairman of the Institute of Surveyors of
Kenya who was also a Commissioner of the Interim Independent
Boundaries Review Commission, noted that real estate players
from the Asian nation have injected a lot of discipline and
efficiency in Kenya’s construction sector.
"Kenyan contractors can learn a lot from their Chinese
counterparts and borrow techniques to use to reduce the housing
deficit," he said.
According to LDGI, the prices of houses have remained beyond
the reach of many ordinary citizens due to the high cost of land
especially in the urban centers.
Makathim observed that Chinese contractors have been able to
lower the cost of housing units by delivering a large number of
houses per unit of land.