NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
A faster surge in population in Kenya’s
rural towns following the introduction of county
governments has become a boon for real estate
units have pulled people from several parts of the
counties to the towns leading to an upsurge of
population as people seek opportunities away from the
Consequently, the seats of governments in the counties
are awash with throngs who have created huge
opportunities for real estate developers.
Kisumu, Vihiga and Busia counties in western Kenya,
property developers are working hard to meet the huge
demand for both commercial and residential buildings.
from Kakamega’s central business district, a four-storey
building is the latest addition to the hot real estate
sector in once lackluster town.
hosts a super-market, several law firms, a clinic and
Not far from
the building is a three-storey residential apartment,
another sign of the booming real estate segment.
“There is a
huge demand for houses and commercial buildings in this
town that currently real estate developers have not met.
now demolishing old bungalows in the case of residential
houses to build apartments,” Peter Bwao, a contractor in
Kakamega, said on Tuesday.
In the last
two years, Bwao has overseen the construction of two
residential projects and one commercial building.
built a three-storey residential building, an estate
comprising of eight bungalows and a two-story commercial
we are building a four-story building that would be a
hostel for students at a local university,” he said.
contractor attributed the boom in the sector to the
institution of the devolved system of governance, which
has led to job and business opportunities.
have employed several people and are engaging in
development that is boosting economic activities.
here working in Nairobi are also investing back home as
they see opportunities.
development in real estate that I have never seen
before,” said Bwao.
county government, there is improvement of road network
by the national government linking different regions.
For the last
three years, a Chinese company has been building a major
road linking Kakamega, Vihiga and Kisumu counties,
boosting interconnectivity, movement of people and thus
trade across the region.
Nairobi-based in-vestment firm, noted that counties are
currently the bastions of real estate development
because they remain attractive from a macroeconomic
perspective, and are in need of modern buildings that
support good returns for investors.
identifies several factors that are making counties
attractive, including rising incomes, devolution,
tourism, and growth of small businesses.
has opened up towns, attracting government institutions,
private investors and entrepreneurs to the county
therefore created demand for office space, retail space
and residential houses to host all the investors and
government officials,” said Cytonn, which last week
announced plans to build residential properties in Nyeri
as it devolves its activities from Nairobi to counties.
according to Cytonn, have further eased business
registration for small traders, with the process taking
at most two weeks, hence driving up demand for office
space and housing for the employees, leading to major
boost for real estate.
government’s State Department of Housing and Urban
Development acknowledged that counties are the new
frontiers for real estate development.
the department announced plans to construct 620 houses
in Embu, Machakos, and Kiambu counties.
will be developed under the Civil Servants Housing
Scheme Fund, launched to provide loan schemes for the
purchase or development of property by state officers.
according to analysts, is an indicator that devolution
is slowly picking pace as state departments move to
complement county governments.
a real estate consultant with Avent Properties in
Nairobi, however, identified several challenges as the
nascent real estate sector in counties booms.
haphazard construction of houses due to lack of zoning
regulations on areas for commercial, residential and
special needs, a situation that may in future lead to
urban areas, most outskirts of the towns have earthen
roads, no water services and drainage system which makes
property de-velopers building houses in the areas incur
high costs,” Kuyo said.
“But this is
something the county governments can work on.”