First, let’s thank devolution for opening up formerly remote areas for development. Nowadays we have roads, electricity and even sewer lines in places where none existed before. The opening up of many of these places through devolution has led to an increase in the demand for land and housing as more people move in to do business or live in these places.
With all this happening, we have seen an unprecedented level of construction activity going on in many places within Kenya. I personally tend to think that the days of Nairobi as the ultimate investment hub are long gone, take an example of real estate investment…Land within Nairobi is becoming increasingly scarce and to make matters even harder, buying a piece of land in Nairobi can cost you a lot of money. Many investors, especially in the real estate sector, have opted to invest in county levels, especially the places which are likely to develop very fast in the near future.
That begs for the question, do people who want to invest in real estate really care where the property is located as long as it is outside the Capital City? They actually do…take a practical example of Kajiado or Machakos…or even in Nakuru, land prices in these places have gone up by a very big, margin, reason because there are good roads, there is good lighting even at night, there are security and good health facilities which shows that people want to invest in dynamic and developing counties. Counties are the ones which hold the future of real estate and it’s just a matter of time before the whole attention shifts from Nairobi.
Well, all that said, here is a list of counties with a robust real estate performance and growth index in Kenya.
Quite an obvious name at the top position, Nairobi has indisputably the best performance in real estate in Kenya. With all the skyscrapers decorating the Nairobi skyline and the hundred more under construction, then there is no other assurance. The main types of property in Nairobi are retail, residential, industrial, office and the ones for special properties. Top areas setting top real estate standards are the suburbs like Runda, Karen, Lavington and others like Kilimani, Gigiri, Loresho, Westlands to name just but a few.
Machakos has developed way too fast…from the many tarmac roads to lit roads, rural electrification, availability of health facilities and even its proximity to Nairobi. Places like Athi River, Syokimau, Katani, Ngelani, and Mlolongo have recorded a sharp growth in the real estate sector. Many people working in Nairobi have either built a home in one of those places or have rented a house there. Machakos is set to be the biggest real estate giant in Kenya with bitter rivals being Kiambu and Kajiado.
Maybe you have one commercial or two on your screens about land on sale either in Kitengela, Isinya or within Kajiado township. Kajiado may be astoundingly dry but its potential in real estate is way much more than you can imagine. Towns like Kitengela have grown into big towns in a span of fewer than 10 years…with more than 10 banks, health centers, police post, and basically all the amenities you can want if you want to stay there. Land prices within Kajiado county have also shot up by almost triple in the last 4 years alone and by the fact that it is a “dormitory” for Nairobi, real estate has had a major boost.
Kiambu is one of the richest counties in Kenya according to the World Bank with an estimated GDP per capita of around $1,989. Properties within Kiambu county, especially in Thika have in the recent past recorded the country’s highest percentage increase in sales. Many investors have flooded Kiambu county and with many learning institutions, the real estate gets a big boost. Good roads, infrastructure, security and proximity to many essential amenities are paramount towards the continuous growth of Kiambu county.
From the long coastline having prime properties and other offshore properties, the Kenyan coast is the ultimate real estate destination for many investors. Some high-end rentals or furnished apartments in Mombasa go for as much as Ksh 200,000 per month which speaks volumes about the potential Mombasa has in real estate. There are many amenities which make Mombasa have an upward real estate trend and of course a few setbacks.
Nakuru is serene and it’s developing pretty fast nowadays and the demand for property has risen making land prices to shoot up. The sharp increase in demand for housing in Nakuru county has triggered a fierce competition for real estate hotspots amongst investors in places like Milimani, Naka; Nakuru’s most sought-after residential neighborhoods. Nakuru is generally doing well in the real estate sector nowadays.
The growth of Laikipia University and the revival of the tourism industry way back in 2015 stimulated the real estate sector in Laikipia county. Investors have been to Laikipia county because of the huge chunks of land that can comfortably accommodate mega housing projects. The county whose face was formally dominated by ranches and pasturelands is slowly being groomed to take over the real estate sector.
maybe many of you never expected to see this name on the list but yes, it made it. Narok has attracted many investors because of its cheap land, security and its proximity to many big towns like Naivasha, Nakuru, Nairobi, Kisii to name just a few…it is in the “middle” of many towns if I may say in layman’s language. An influx of people into Narok has seen the demand for rental housing shoot up in the last few years and the hospitality sector has also got a big boost. Many hotels have come up in Narok.
The general trend in real estate in Narok is generally promising.