Housing Trends That Will Affect Buyers, Builders in 2022

  • A file image of real estate apartments owned by Cheriez Properties Limited in Kitengela
    A file image of real estate apartments owned by Cheriez Properties Limited in Kitengela
    File
  • Prospective home buyers and builders will be affected by several housing trends in 2022, as indicated by several surveys that analysed the market in 2021. 

    For many Kenyans, getting a house that suits their demands is one of the top priorities. Other factors include consumer demand, land prices, the economy among others. 

    Consequently, these trends influence developers within the real estate industry as they seek to build homes as per the tenants' needs. 

    A house under construction
    A house under construction
    File

    Buying Houses Instead of Renting 

    As Kenyans look to cut down on their expenses, many are opting to buy houses instead of renting houses. This is because buying is cheaper in the long term as compared to paying rent each month. 

    Additionally, renting a house comes with many uncertainties such as the increase in rent which is determined by the landlords.

    A report released by Knight Frank in December 2020, stated that the pandemic gave buyers time to reflect on how they live and use their space, influencing their future buying plans.

    “Buyers are prioritising 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 detailed. 

    A Nairobi-based architect and real estate surveyor Arnania Ogutu, further told Kenyans.co.ke that buyers are also opting to buy unfinished houses which are cheaper. He explained that this gives them the flexibility of furnishing the house with their own designs and tastes.

    “When people buy unfinished houses, there is always that flexibility of finishing the house to the standards of one taste and they can also do it based on their finances,” he stated.

    Bigger Family Houses

    Majority of buyers are seeking large family houses where they can create office spaces as working from home has become a norm post-pandemic. 

    Bigger houses are also ideal for Kenyans who have families as they can accommodate them and also offer them an opportunity to work from home. People also opt for bigger houses because of the flexibility that comes with them.

    “Most of the big houses you will find are in leafy suburbs because families opt to have a quiet life that may not be experienced in some estated. Therefore, for the big house people are going to estates which may be considered as family-friendly estates,” Ogutu stated.

    Congestion in Leafy Suburbs 

    Real estate company Knight Frank in February 2021, stated that wealthy Kenyans were deserting rich suburbs like Runda and Kitisuru due to the influx of new residents in the areas. 

    These rich tenants relocated to Tigoni in Kiambu County and Miotoni in Karen, Nairobi. They were also reported to be purchasing second homes in Tigoni and Miotoni which are spacious and allow them to convert spaces into office rooms. 

    Areas such as Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Hurlingham, and Lavington which were previously considered high-end areas, have also witnessed the construction of skyscraper residential areas. 

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    An aerial view of Kilimani Estate, Nairobi
    File

    Satellite Towns and Land Prices 

    Another notable trend is the increasing demand for houses within satellite towns neighboring cities. This demand has seen the prices of land in the towns rise as developers seek to venture into real estate in those areas to match the growing housing demands from Kenyans.

    According to HassConsult Property index, prices of land in satellite towns neighboring Nairobi rose by 2.48 percent between July to September 2021.

    In Ogutu's view, while some of the satellite towns could be ancestral homes for some Kenyans, people opt to sell their pieces of land because of the pressure that comes with being surrounded by high rise buildings

    "For example in Kabete, in as much as that may be the ancestral home of some people, they often tend to sell the land to developers or potential buyers because of the pressure that comes with the increasing highrise buildings in the area," he stated.

    HassConsult Property index, prices of land in centers neighboring the capital such as Syokimau, Kiambu, and Kiserian spiked by 2.48 percent between July to September 2021.

    “Satelite areas will keep on attracting residents in 2022. We have witnessed major growth in the sale of lands in Ruiru and Kamakis areas. Infrastructure like the Thika superhighway and other bypasses have opened such areas, coupled with affordable prices for homes and land," Moses Muriithi, CEO at Fanaka Real Estate told Kenyans.co.ke.

    Construction of Smaller Houses 

    A report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) in 2020 revealed that developers in Nairobi are building smaller houses such as bedsitters, single rooms, and one-bedroom houses to beat the demand for these house units among city residents.

    A file image of the interior of a 3D printed house
    A file image of the interior of a 3D printed house
    File
    Reuters

    Within a span of four years from 2015, there was an 84 percent increase in the number of one-bedroom units built in Nairobi. The increase in the demand for smaller houses is because they are affordable to many residents.

    For example, on average a single room or a bedsitter ranges from Ksh5,000 to Ksh7,000 across the estates in Nairobi with one-bedroom apartments ranging from Ksh8,000 to Ksh10,000.

    Affordable Houses

    With the harsh economic times, many Kenyans are also opting for affordable houses. Under the Big Four Agenda, President Uhuru Kenyatta has undertaken to build affordable houses in various cities within the country.

    Most of the houses have already been occupied with the government hinting that they will gradually undertake the project in phases with the target being 2030. This means that while the option of cheaper government houses may be available to Kenyans, many will miss out because of the high demand.

    Houses under Uhuru’s affordable housing range from Ksh1 million for one-bedroom houses to Ksh3 million for a three-bedroom house.

    In the interview, Ogutu added that in the future, Kenyans will opt for new technologies such as 3D printing which guarantee them houses within the shortest time and are affordable.

    On December 6, Principal Secretary for the State Department for Housing and Urban Development Charles Hinga launched the first 3D printed house in Kenya with one to three-bedroom house units estimated to cost Ksh2.3 million.

    A 3D printer can complete a wall within 12 hours as compared to four days when using builders.

    Tree No. 0 , Kenya's first 3D printed house located in Athi River
    Tree No. 0 , Kenya's first 3D printed house constructed in Athi River
    File
    Construction Kenya