New office space in Nairobi continues to be constructed on a daily basis. Areas such as Upper Hill, Kilimani and Westlands are currently being constructed into high rise office space whenever there is empty available land.
Since land around Nairobi which is commercial and suitable for office space is expensive, developers construct vertically upwards. The high rise buildings are then resold or rented out.
The average smallest space in most of these new buildings is 1000 square feet in area. The average rent per sq ft is between kes 100 to kes 140.
The average sale price is between kes 100,000 to kes 150,000 per sq meter.
The office spaces are sold using sectional titles as described under sectional properties act of the laws of Kenya.
The buying process is similar to the process of buying an apartment. Only the rules/regulations pertaining to cohesive living with neighbors are different, reflecting office living compared to residential living.
In most buildings, 1 car park space is provided per office and off street city council parking space is used by visitors.
Other methods whereby owners get to own 1 share in the company LLC that owns the building are also used to enable ownership.
Buying vs Renting.
Lets take an example of The Watermark, in Karen. Lets assume 1000sq ft office space.
Cost of buying is on average kes 16,000 per sq ft. Total cost =kes 16,000x 1000=kes 16m.
Cost of renting the same is kes 140 per sq ft=kes 140 x 1000=kes 140,000 per month.
This is kes 1.68m per year.
The rent will be equal to the cost of purchase within 9.5 years.
The average usability/time period of usage will be around 20 years.
Therefore, this means that after 9.5 years, the buyer will offset the rent and will use the remaining 10 or more years in the office at no cost, hence making buying the office a better option.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.