Kenya’s real estate industry is set to boom once again in 2019 thanks to the country’s growing middle class, rapid urbanization, which is currently at 4.3% per annum against global averages of 2% coupled with other demographic trends.
The expected boom follows a stagnant economy after months of political turmoil caused by a protracted general election.
In light of these developments, leading real estate player, BuyRent Kenya says that for real estate agents and developers to succeed, they must embrace a multi-phased approach including consumer preferences of online platforms like BuyRentKenya.com.
The realtor argues that developers can achieve success by adopting four strategies, namely: being responsive to market changes in pricing, commoditizing high-value areas with a vertical building approach, and aligning with the President’s affordable housing project.
Market insights from BuyRentKenya.com, which has bagged several Real Estate Awards, show that 68% of property seekers use their mobile device to search for property online. This eliminates the tedious process of scouting for property, contacting brokers and owners and constantly making frequent visits to view the property to avoid getting scammed.
“Consumers want to see listings with detailed descriptions, different price options, and also want to have someone who will answer all their questions without having to physically visit the property. Agents and developers need to embrace this modern way of consumers searching for property by working with real estate portals to post listings online which will be available to anyone and everyone,” the organisation said in a statement.
Also, over the past three years, there have been changes in market prices. BuyRentKenya.com’s market predictions are based on pricing shifts, economic key drivers, and real estate trends.
Largely, there is an increase in the demand and supply of townhouses in Kenya’s satellite towns such as Kitengela judging by the 3% increase in the rental price of an apartment and an 11% price increase from people buying townhouses in the same area. This increase is attributed to infrastructural improvements making it easier for commuting to Nairobi while spending less on property respective to Nairobi properties.
Apartment prices are set to increase in high-demand areas such as Westlands and Lavington from the growth of consumers earning a higher income and wanting to live close to the city centre. These areas are also attracting the expatriate community through available amenities, location, and proximity to conference centres.
BuyRent’s research also indicates that developers should consider building vertically and leverage on air rights. By demolishing old houses and building apartment blocks on the same land, developers can maximise the return on high-demand property.
Finally, according to BuyRentKenya.com’s CEO Lizzie Costabir, Kenya’s affordable housing project will have a positive effect in other areas such as the cement industry which will force suppliers and contractors to reduce construction costs.
BuyRentKenya has affirmed that these four key changes will propel the growth of Kenya’s property industry for developers, estate agents, and property seekers.