NEW infrastructure developments in Mombasa have increased the pace of property value growth in the region, leading to a windfall for investors.
According to some developers, the planned construction of the Dongo Kundu bypass linking the South and North Coast has caused land prices in the South Coast to double over the last one year.
The upcoming projects in the coastal town have opened up Mombasa west - mainly occupied by warehouses, container freight stations, factories and low cost houses- to other types of real estate development.
Dongo Kundu bypass, which incorporates the Mombasa free trade zone, is aimed at decongesting the city. It is set for completion in 2018.
The road is 17.5 km from Miritini at the mainland west of Mombasa to Ng’ombeni in the South mainland. It will reduce over-reliance on the Likoni Ferry, the main transport link to the South Coast.
The ongoing construction of the Sh327 billion standard gauge railway, developers say, has also contributed to appreciation of land prices at the Coast.
“These projects have had a very big impact on land, house prices and rents,” said Mwenda Thuranira, CEO of Mombasa-based MySpace Properties.
According to Thuranira, an acre of land at Miritini costs Sh20 million up from Sh7 million two years ago.
A 5,000-square feet space at a warehouse within Jomvu and Changamwe industrial areas currently costs between Sh25 million and Sh30 million from Sh15 million two years ago.
Other areas that have attracted more investors, hence driving up land prices are nearby towns of Mazeras and Mariakani, which have attracted industries, transport firms and warehousing developments.
“An acre of land at Mazeras is currently going for Sh12 million up from Sh3 million while a similar piece of land at Mariakani is asking between Sh10and Sh15million,” Thuranira said.
Rents for new residential houses in Mikindani, Miritini and Mazeras are also projected to rise.
However, other developers have said growth and return on investment on rental income is slow .
“Areas like Changamwe you can get a one-bedroom (house) for as low as Sh10,000. Prices have not changed much,” said Goldwyne Consult CEO Benedict Mutuku.
She said frequent traffic jam at Kibarani area has made people shun the Mombasa West region.