Why Nairobians are Moving to Homes Outside Kenya - Report

  • Kenyans walking on busy Nairobi streets
    Kenyans walking on busy Nairobi streets
  • A report by Knight Frank has revealed that Nairobians are opting to move to new homes outside Kenya as they seek a safe haven.

    The 2021 African Horizons report showed that cases such as lockdowns, disasters and future disease outbreaks within the city are contributing to a surge in inquiries for prime properties around various countries such as South Africa, United States and Canada.

    Initially, the demand for living in Nairobi boosted the surge in residential properties within the Central Business District prior to the pandemic. However, the report noted that home buyers now consider other key factors when settling for a residential place.

    A block of apartments in Nairobi.
    A block of apartments in Nairobi.

    "Those who once considered proximity to work to be a key factor are now placing far more emphasis on a home that offers space and tranquillity," Knight Frank head of research Charles Macharia stated.

    The report indicates that 51 percent prefer homes that have access to quality healthcare, 48 percent consider areas with transport links such as major highways.

    48 percent of Nairobians consider areas with internet connectivity, 44 percent prefer a residential area that is close to their offices while 31 percent opt for air quality.

    Space is also a concern with 54 percent of respondents indicating that they are now more likely to buy a detached family home than they were pre-Covid-19.

    "With people spending more time at home, they have been able to experience first-hand whether their homes meet their current lifestyle needs and review what they would prioritise when buying a new one in the future,"  Macharia stated.

    Knight Frank indicated that the residential sector proved to be resilient during the Covid-19 pandemic period as there was a sharp rebound in transaction volumes following the easing of movement restrictions by the government towards the end of 2020.

    "We anticipate that demand will continue to come under pressure in 2021. Landlords will therefore need to shift their strategies to preserve occupancy.

    "Incorporating flexible workspace into developments and offering work-from-home furniture packages are expected to form part of the new measures to attract and retain tenants," stated the report.

    Mortgage levels are also expected to increase with the implementation of affordable housing programmes by the government to offer mortgage financing.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta assenting to bills at State House on March 30, 2021.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta assenting to bills at State House on March 30, 2021.