The pandemic has hit hard the hospitality, transport and horticulture sector. According to World Bank, Kenya’s GDP growth in 2020 is projected to be 1.5 per cent.
In a report by Knight Frank a real estate consultancy firm, demand for office spaces has declined by 68 per cent in quarter one of 2020.
“Before the pandemic, we had witnessed a good level of enquiries both from international and local corporates, and transactions were underway. Corporates have since placed major decisions on “pause” whilst they assess their position,” says the firm.
The effect is expected to continue as long as the pandemic lasts in the second quarter of 2020 as organizations focus on handling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Many businesses are either closing down or sending their staff to work from home while others are forced to take paid or unpaid leave.
In home settings landlords and tenants are forced to play cat and mouse games with some forcefully evicting their tenants who have been unable to pay their monthly dues.
“We have been monitoring the market closely and our agents and occupier services teams are working hard to ensure we provide the necessary assistance to all our clients as we are in a rapidly evolving situation. These are challenging times and we must all innovate to ensure business continuity,” says Ben Woodhams Knight Frank Kenya managing director.
Malls are now attracting less traffic due to government directives such as curfews and social distancing.
However, pharmacies and leisure traders selling indoors and outdoors exercise equipment such as bicycle shops have had a steady stream of shoppers.
Online shopping and deliveries have increased as stores collaborate with delivery partners to offer customers convenience to ensure trading continuity.
Hotels have been pushed by the pandemic to close down business. The sector relies heavily on meetings, incentives, exhibitions and conferences, ban on international flights hit the sector hard.
A decline in sale of houses and rental prices in Nairobi has been recorded in the first quarter of 2020.
According to Knight Frank Kenya there is a decline in international rental inquiries and by extension the expatriate market as some international prospective tenants have stopped their search and gone back to their home countries for the time being.
In addition, majority of the large projects will remain at a halt due to delays in the global supply chain.
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