Nairobi's posh estates were strictly reserved for residential purposes, with the super-wealthy allowed to construct modern mansions on extensive tracts of land.
At that time, the leafy suburbs were controlled and managed by different authorities, including then City Council, which formulated by-laws for residents.
However, the recent spike in real estate development changed the entire landscape, with posh estates attracting investors to set up offices, apartments, parking bays, Airbnb and high-end restaurants.
The high growth rate witnessed in leafy suburbs of Nairobi has compelled the super-rich to find alternative places to live.
However, their mass exit paved the way for other Kenyans to flood the leafy suburbs to acquire affordable units and houses.
In-Demand Areas for Middle-Income Earners
Among the posh estates attracting middle-income earners include Kileleshwa, Runda and Kitisuru, left by tycoons in search of more privacy and outdoor spaces.
According to HassConsult, a real estate company, in the third quarter report of 2022, land in Gigiri, Kileleshwa, Kilimani, Kitisuru, Lavington, Runda and Westlands recorded a slight drop in value, setting the stage for houses prices to decline.
"Apartment market proves most price sensitive with buyers willing to negotiate prices to close on sales," HassConsult report read in part.
"Apartments prices in Riverside dropped by 4 per cent over the quarter, while apartments in Thika dropped by 3 per cent. On the rental front, prices across the board declined by 0.2 per cent, reflecting the tough economic environment," Sakina Hassanali, HassConsult's Head of Development Consulting and Research, stated.
The trend started in February 2021, when Knight Frank, a real estate firm, announced a sharp drop in house prices in some posh estates.
Breakdown of Prices
Some of the average land prices in the suburb areas are in Kileleshwa Ksh300 million, Lavington Ksh231 million, Donholm the price was Ksh72 million, in Karen prices were recorded at Ksh65 million, prices in Kilimani Ksh403 million, in Kitisuru it was Ksh95 million and in Upper Hill Ksh492 million.
Although an acre of land in most leafy suburbs remains above Ksh50 million, some property owners are reportedly willing to sell houses even as low as Ksh4 million.
For instance, in Runda, where a four-bedroom house was Ksh300 million, at the moment, some go for as low as Ksh42 million, as per Property 24 Listings.
According to Property 24, a 2-bedroom house in an apartment in Kilimani costs north of Ksh8 million.
Studio apartments in areas such as Lavington cost Ksh4 million, while some units in Upper Hill cost Ksh5.5 million.
Townhouses ready to occupy with 4 bedrooms in Lavington cost Ksh65 million while a similar development in Loresho going for Ksh40 million from a record Ksh200 million according to HassConsult property listings.
In areas like Donholm, where houses were expensive, middle-income earners flooded the area to acquire affordable units for as low as Ksh15 million.
Due to the trend, reclusive billionaires are moving to other satellite towns, such as Syokimau, Tigoni, Narok, Laikipia, Diani, Malindi and the vast Kilifi County.
Others are choosing islands outside the country, such as the Panama islands.