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February 19, 2019

Kenyans in diaspora boost Coast house market

KENYANS living abroad have jolted the real estate market at the Coast, boosting the construction sector in the region after a slowdown over the last two years.

Developers in the region say renewed diaspora interest on property is due to improved security.

The region had suffered a market slump following a wave of terror related incidences causing house prices to decrease by an average of 20 per cent in 2014.

The sector however made a slight improvement last year and prices are projected to increase by between 25 and 30 per cent this year.

“We did not sleep over the December holiday period. Many Kenyans from the diaspora and foreigners who came for holiday were all over checking out properties,” said MySpace Properties CEO Mwenda Thuranira yesterday.

Thuranira, a Mombasa-based developer, who is also the Kenya Property Developers Association chairman for Coast region also noted increased demand for property from Kenyans living in Nairobi, Nakuru and Kisumu.

Holiday homes, buy-to-let, rental and commercial properties are likely to be the major market movers this year, according to Thuranira.

“There are Kenyans with disposable income. The market has been busy since August last year,” he said.

Apartments, maisonettes and land located at the North Coast have the highest demand.

Nyali leads in inquires for apartments followed by Kizingo, Tudor, Kiembeni and Bamburi.

Currently, the cheapest two-bedroom apartment in middle class areas of Bamburi and Bombolulu costs an average of Sh4.5 million.

A similar property in Tudor is Sh8 million while in high-end Kizingo, a two-bedroom costs Sh25 million.

A four-bedroom apartment in high-end Nyali with a sea view costs Sh28 million while a three-bedroom apartment is priced at Sh25 million.

These are projected to increase by at least 25 per cent this year.

A section of developers are however worried that the prevailing high interest rates are likely to stagnate the market.

“We might see prices remain the same or rise a bit but not very high. This is because of high interest rates,” said Goldwyne Consult CEO Benedict Mutuku.

He projects higher demand for properties below Sh10 million compared to high-end properties.

Thuranira further said the Coastal market has “fully recovered”.

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