Kenyan homeowners are opting to buy apartments as opposed to building homes. This is according to a report prepared by Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) which shows that due to the fewer number of construction projects being approved following new building policies, Kenyans have proven to prefer buying units despite the increased prices in apartments.
The report showed that flexible nature in accommodating buyers’ diverse incomes has brought the shift to buying. The association found out that apartments were favorites for new home owners at 71% of the total number of units traded, followed by maisonettes and bungalows with 23% and 4% respectively.
“The rise in the price of apartments compared to bungalows and maisonettes alludes to an element of affordability to potential home buyers, given the lower cost of construction per unit. More market activity appears to be skewed on the lower end of the market than the middle and upper market segments,” read the report.
Popular taste of choice
Other factors that have encouraged the move to apartments are the age of the units, the number of floors in a building, and the number of bedrooms. Customers have proven to be more attracted to newer-looking buildings which increased in popularity owing to the fact that the most common transactions were for two-bedroom houses and units in four-story buildings that are predominantly over two-years-old.
In terms of regions, average prices were the lowest in Athi River, Mlolongo, Ngong, Ruaka, Syokimau, Embakasi, Kahawa Wendani, Thika, Mtwapa, Kitengela and along Thika road (Kasarani, Roysambu, Ruaraka).
“There is more supply of units in the lower segment given land availability compared to the upper market segment,” stated the report.
Prices, however, increased moving towards areas whose houses provided larger spaces such as estates along Waiyaki Way, Mbagathi and Ngong and Kiambu Road, Membley, Rongai, Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Lavington, Westlands, Runda, Karen, Muthaiga and Kitisuru.
“Buyers are prioritizing greater privacy, outdoor space, and a home office. But we also see that close to a third of respondents are more likely to move in the next 12 months, and 50 percent expect the value of their property to fall over the same period, as a result of the pandemic,” the Knight Frank Kenya Buyer’s Survey 2020 stated.
Areas have also registered growth due to infrastructural developments such as the Thika Superhighway, Southern Bypass, expansion of Waiyaki Way, the renovation of the railway network by Kenya Railways Corporation which all aim at making it easier for commuters to travel to and from the CBD to satellite towns.