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Kenya housing plan seen triggering real estate growth - analysts

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Property sector players and analysts expect exponential growth in real estate in Kenya following announcement by President Uhuru Kenyatta that providing affordable houses for millions of Kenya will be one of his four key focus during his last term in office.

Kenyatta has said the government is working on a plan which will enable developers’ access cheap land and a host of other subsidies to enable them deliver as many houses as possible.

Kfir Rusin, managing director of East Africa Property Investment Summit, said Thursday this is among the triggers that have made Kenya attractive to property developers.

“Kenya is once again at the top of investors and developers’ lists of attractive investment destinations. We are hearing a lot of positive news from our stakeholders, and we expect some eye-catching announcements soon,” he said in an interview in the capital Nairobi.

“Revival of the property sector will be driven by Kenyatta’s multi-trillion-shilling affordable homes program, a hopeful review of the interest rate cap and a return to political certainty following the conclusion of last year’s election cycle which spooked developers, investors and home buyers,” he said.

The projected gross domestic product growth rate of 5.8 percent by the World Bank in January also aids to the increased investor confidence and appetite in the market, he said.

Leonard Michau, head of sub-Saharan African Operations at Broll Property Group, said there is an ongoing commitment to the region by various real estate investors and developers.

“The commitment of international retailers to the region, for example, points to the ongoing vitality of the retail sector,” he said, observing that many more international organizations are setting up offices in Kenya, growing demand for high-grade offices.

“The vision and confidence shown by various developers point to a realistic assessment of Kenya’s growing regional hub status. This will require the development of further ‘International Grade A’ office projects able to cater efficiently to the needs of the multinational corporations likely to establish or expand their operations here,” he added.

“We are already seeing the signs of a rebounding market with the inception of multi-billion Kenyan shilling funds targeting mixed-use developments, as well as global equity firms investing in developers in Kenya,” said Rusin.

“While Ethiopia and Tanzania’s economies continue to thrive, we still see greater value from a real estate perspective in Kenya’s more diversified and established economy.”



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