KENYANS living abroad showed increased interest in property at the Coast between July and September, the region’s branch of the Kenya Property Developers Association has said.
KPDA chairman for Coast Mwenda Thuranira said there was a rise in enquiries for land and houses from the diaspora.
He attributed the growing appetite to the weakening of the shilling by about 13 per cent since the beginning of the year. This means they can now buy the same property using fewer US dollars than they could at the beginning of the year.
Thuranira, also the chief executive of Myspace Properties, said most of the enquiries for residential and commercial houses are coming from the United States, Europe and Asia.
“Mostly Kenyans living abroad have been sending a lot of money to buy property at the coast. This includes holiday homes, land and development of rental property. It has been cheaper for them to convert dollars into Kenyan shillings,” he said. Prices have consequently gone up by about 20 per cent over the period, with the cost of land rising signficantly.
This was partly driven by the shortage of land on Mombasa Island, a situation that has pushed developers onto the outskirts of the city.
An acre of prime land in Kizingo, for example, is selling for Sh500 million up from Sh300 million at the beginning of the year.
In high-end areas like Nyali, the cost of an acre has increased to Sh100 million from Sh60 million in January.
Land in Bamburi, a densely populated residential area, has increased to Sh7 million from Sh5 million for a quarter acre.
In Shanzu, an acre on the second and third row from the Indian Ocean, sells for Sh30 million.
Demand for industrial land has also been rising in Mazeras and Mariakani areas which attract mainly foreign investors in light industry and transportation.
Investors are largely from India, Indonesia and Singapore.
“There is high demand for commercial land in these two areas where prices have shot up.
One acre now goes for Sh10 million, up from Sh3 million three years ago,” Thuranira said.
Prices along the beach have remained stable and high.
At Nyali, for example, they are selling for Sh150 million per acre.