NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The cost of land in towns in rural
Kenya has hit an all-time high following a huge demand thanks to
The price, especially in towns
hosting county headquarters, has increased five-fold in the last
few years as population surges in the regions.
Among towns where land prices have increased tremendously are
Nyeri, Nakuru, Kakamega, Kisumu, Busia, Bungoma and Eldoret.
Some five years ago before the onset of county governments,
one would buy a quarter acre on the outskirts of the towns at
between 4,854 U.S. dollars and 14,563 dollars depending on the
proximity to trading centres.
But this has changed, with eighth acre in the towns currently
going for between 14,563 dollars and 48,544 dollars, the highest
climb ever to be recorded.
"There is huge demand for land from property investors
seeking to build both commercial and residential houses.
"This demand has been pushed up by the influx of people from
other places to the towns in search of opportunities," Moses
Aseka, a land dealer in Kakamega told Xinhua in a recent
Aseka acknowledged that the cost of land in the town, one of
fastest growing in western Kenya, has increased significantly,
with the asking price for an eighth acre on the outskirts of the
county headquarters hitting 48,544 dollars.
All the county headquarters across the East African nation
are experiencing boom resulting from jobs created by the
devolved units and small businesses.
Devolution, according to analysts, has opened up various
towns, attracting state agencies like construction authority,
anti-graft commission, Judiciary and ombudsman, which have set
up offices in the towns.
Private investors and entrepreneurs, who include proper
developers, have similarly flocked the towns in such for the
The influx has, therefore, has created a huge demand for
office and retail space and commercial and residential buildings
to host all the investors and government officials.
Apart from the devolved units, there is improvement of road
network by both the national and county governments linking
different places and opening up areas that initially were
inaccessible to investors.
Universities have also set up campuses in the towns leading
to huge population of workers and students.
Antony Kuyo, a consultant with Avent Properties, which
recently opened a branch in Kisumu town, said land prices have
hit an all-time high.
"The good thing with the property market is that even as
prices surge, there are so many willing buyers.
"You miss one,
you get another.
"In the last two months we have been selling for a client 16
plots subdivided from two acres for a gated-community.
at 15,533 dollars and nearly half are booked," said Kuyo.
Cytonn, a Nairobi-based investment firm, noted that rental
yields in the towns are also on the rise for both commercial and
Rental yields in Nyeri, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nakuru stand at
between 9.6 percent and 13 percent for commercial properties and
4.1 percent to 6 percent for residential.
The huge returns are pushing up investment in residential
In the capital Nairobi in 2017, real estate firm HassConsult
in a report last month, noted that land prices in the suburbs
increased by 3.3 percent while in satellite towns, in the
counties bordering the city, by 5.4 percent.