Kenyans still prefer apartments even as rental prices recorded a slight increase of 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year according to the latest Hass House Price Index first-quarter report.
Head of Development, Consulting and Research Sakina Hassanali, says the current figures, however, don’t capture the full impact of Covid-19 on the property market.
The real estate sector remained largely depressed in 2019, attributed to among others to the protracted challenging economic environment across the past 12 months that led to inaction by home buyers and fewer demands by landlords.
That notwithstanding a majority of Kenyans who went into the market opted for apartments, in the first quarter of 2020.
Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153
According to the HassConsult report, house prices slightly edged up by 0.9 per cent over the quarter driven by a mild performance from single-family residences and semi-detached markets which recorded a 1.3 per cent and a 0.9 per cent growth respectively sustaining the trend recorded in the previous quarter.
As such it would be cheaper to rent in Kiambu, Kitengela and Mlolongo unlike in Syokimau, Athi River, Ruaka and Rongai whose rental prices have held steady in the first quarter, while Ngong rental prices have increased by 6.4 per cent.
On the other hand, apartment rental prices in Nairobi suburbs have dropped in Kileleshwa, Lang’ata, Riverside, Upperhill and Westlands.
Rental prices remain unchanged, in Lavington, Kilimani and Parklands.
Hassanali says uncertainties and depressed appetite forced home sellers to reduce asking prices of their properties.
According to the report, those who favour detached and semi-detached housing found it cheaper to purchase one in Tigoni than Loresho whose prices went up 3.6% in the last quarter.
Overall, it is more expensive to purchase a house in Ridgeways than Juja, with the latter recording a 9.3% slump in sales while ridgeways property sale prices surge.
Hassanali says in the next quarter, rental prices and asking prices are likely to adjust downwards as the populace deals with reduced incomes.
However, this change may not be huge as land and property are usually insulated against short term shocks”.