KENYA REAL ESTATE 2012. FUTURE OF 2013.
The year 2012 has seen unprecedented high land values around Nairobi. Land in upper hill shot up from
KES 200m per acre to the current KES 350m , representing 75% increase in land value.
Land in Nairobi Suburbs such as Syokimau 1 KM from Mombasa road shot up from KES 1.5m per 1/8th acre to KES 2.2 m for the same, representing 46% increase in value.
This increase in value has had an advantage to the minority land owners and a disadvantage to the majority land buyers who have had to cough up much more.
The main reason for the increase in land value is due to normal increase in population while available land for sale remaining constant and influx of cash from overseas into the Kenyan economy.
This high cost of land has resulted to high cost of houses even though the construction materials prices have not risen much in the last 5 years.
New cost effective building materials have been introduced to the Kenyan market.
Mazeras stone tiles.
Even though Mazeras stone has been in Kenya still time immemorial, it was only used in the Coast and a few high end shopping malls such as the Village Market.
With its cutting into square and rectangular pieces, it has become a popular wall and floor finish due to its relative affordability, high aesthetics ,high strength and low maintenance cost.
Aluminum Window and Door frames.
With the onset of Chinese Aluminum shops setting business in Nairobi, Aluminum windows and doors have now been introduced to the mass market due to their affordability and high aesthetics.
Previously, Aluminum windows and sliding doors were the preserve of very high cost buildings. Currently, most flea markets and shop partitions are done using Aluminum sections. We are now witnessing Aluminum partitions in residential units especially the Master bedroom bathroom partitions.
MDF and HDF Boards.
MDF Boards have started to edge out block boards as the main wardrobe ,kitchen cabinet and furniture materials. HDF Floor boards have also become common place in the floor finishes sector.
LOWS OF 2012.
2012 has witnessed a collapse of Buildings such as the Westlands and Mlolongo buildings .
The Government through Ministry of Local Government which is responsible for ensuring building safety have improved the level of inspections since its quite a long time since we have heard of a building collapsing of late.
FUTURE OF 2013.
The new Land Laws whereby the Land Commission will regulate size of individual land ownership and propose land tax will be a game changer in 2013. Solutions such as Idle land taxation if implemented will result in large land owners selling their land hence reduction of land prices due to oversupply. Idle land taxation will also increase revenue to Government hence more infrastructure such as roads and water supply improvement.
New Building Materials.
Prefabrication and new building materials into the market will change the look of new buildings. Panelized housing such as the ones being produced by NHC will redefine how the shape of new buildings will look.
Flexible curveable building materials such as uPVC ceiling, Onduline roofing sheets and profiled steel sheets will redefine the shape of the house as we know it. There will be more and more curvilinear house styles as house owners seek to quench their thirst for unique housing.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau. Architect.