Affordable Housing Ranked Most Important Factor When Deciding Where to Live and Work in Nairobi, Kenya

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Affordable housing is the most important factor when deciding where to live and work for employees living in Nairobi, Kenya, a factor that real estate industry players will be wise to consider.

This is according to Mercer, a global consulting leader in advancing health, wealth and career, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.

Mercer this week announced the results of an extensive study that examines the needs of workers in the world’s fastest-growing cities across four key factors: human, health, money and work.

Based on the survey, affordable housing was ranked the most important factor, followed by safety and security, air and water quality, transportation and traffic, and finally life satisfaction.

“With this in mind, governments and large businesses have a role to play in making cities more attractive in meeting the top needs of employees,” said Mercer Africa Associate, Francis Omanyala.

The study provides critical insight into the motivations of workers against the backdrop of fierce competition for highly-skilled talent. It also provides practical advice for companies and municipalities to help them accelerate their talent strategies and realize commercial gains.

Titled ‘People First: Driving Growth in Emerging Megacities,’ the study surveyed 7,200 workers and 577 employers in 15 current and future megacities across seven countries, including Brazil, China, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco and Nigeria. As defined by the United Nations, these 15 cities will have a combined population of 150 million people by 2030 and share strong, projected GDP.

“There are unprecedented opportunities in growth markets, yet they come with inherent challenges. The rapid growth of next-generation cities sees them poised to leapfrog larger markets but, in order to do so, they need to attract and keep highly-skilled people,” said Mercer Group President, Martine Ferland.

“We learned that employers misunderstand what motivates people to move to a city and stay there. Moreover, cities are not performing well when it comes to addressing many of the more human and social factors that are listed as important among key employee groups. This dynamic creates natural tensions between what people value most and a city’s ability to deliver,” Ms. Ferland added.

The 15 cities included in the study have a population between three and 15 million people, strong projected GDP and population growth for the next decade, and more than $4 billion of foreign direct investment annually. The respondents were surveyed via a mix of online and face-to-face interviews from July to August 2018.

“We believe one of the most important imperatives emerging from the study is the need for effective public-private partnerships to facilitate the necessary improvements,” said Mercer International President, David Anderson.

“To accelerate progress at scale and create the environments in which workers and their families can thrive, and in order to underpin sustainable economic growth for everyone, companies and governments must work together to address the future needs of the employees they are trying to attract,” he concluded.

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