Kenyans matched on 4th March to exercise their democratic right to elect a new president. But all fingers were crossed as some predicted violence as has always been the trend in Kenyan elections. Kenyans and various stakeholders including those in the property market were concerned on the conduct and outcome during and after the election. The 2007 elections saw one of the most violent episodes Kenya has ever had since it got its independence. The violence led to deaths, destruction of property and big blow to the Kenyan economy. On Monday, March 4th 2013 Millions of Kenyans queued patiently for hours to cast their votes. Tensions were high as results were trickling in having to wait up to 5 days to get the presidential results. But no major incidences were reported even after the announcement of the results.
The market responded positively to this and the Kenyan shilling performed well on the close of business on Monday 11th March. All is set for an expected boom in real estate and property in the year 2013. The property market had slowed down owing to the ‘imminent violence’ from the elections. Investors were not keen on buying property during this period. But with that chapter being closed; let’s get back to business is the mood all around.
Kenya’s rapid economic growth and improved infrastructure in terms of roads, communication technology and finance has been a key driver for the boom in properties. With the Kenyan Government set to float a 1 Billion dollar sovereign bond in 2013; infrastructure is foreseen to expand. Kenya is expected to attain a 5 percent economic growth in 2013. Inflation rate had decreased in the month of February and interest rates are expected to be low. These factors could have been heavily countered if the elections had not been peaceful.
Foreign investors are attracted by the fact that Kenya enjoys a good property market. With the global market having slowed down in the 2008 economic turmoil the Kenyan market showed resilience, this has resulted to foreign investors streaming into the country. Remittances from outside the country are known to influence the property market. With remittances being up to 100 million dollars each month it is a known fact that a sizeable amount goes to the property market. With this group of investors satisfied with the situation in the country we are set to see more investment coming in.
One of the key areas that investors are keen on investing is the property market. The major cities of Nairobi and coastal towns getting the lion share of this investment but the market is bursting out to Nairobi outskirts and surrounding towns. Nairobi has a steadily growing middle class which provides high demand for high-end residential properties. With development in infrastructure specifically roads making it easier to commute from areas that would have been too far; we are seeing major projects in apartment buildings in those areas. The coastal city of Mombasa city attracts interests mainly from the tourism industry related properties. Malindi town and Lamu town also get sizeable amount of property investment especially from European investors. Areas in the rift valley and central province have seen an unique interest in ranches and private game reserves. The property market has spread throughout the country and the fever is catching on even to the western frontier.
Source: Property leo