The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics recently published the Kenya economic survey for 2020, detailing economic data across various sectors of the economy. The document highlights key figures for Nairobi’s construction industry since the 2015/16 fiscal year.

According to the survey, the number of private residential buildings completed in Nairobi increased by 51% between 2015 and 2019 while the total number of private buildings competed had increased by 54% from 9054 to 13976.

Residential buildings form approximately 85% of private buildings completed in Nairobi every year.

The total value of completed private buildings issued with a certificate of occupancy in Nairobi City County increased by 4.3 percent to KSh. 94.0 billion in 2019 while the value of public buildings completed was KSh. 1.6 billion, a 2.4 percent decline, compared to KSh. 1.54 billion in 2018.

Public residential housing made up just 0.46 percent of the value of total buildings completed and issued with a certificate of occupancy in Nairobi City County or KSh. 370 million, a decrease from 2018 when the value was KSh. 816 million.

The number of completed public residential buildings in 2019 stood at 530 units which were higher than 430 units realized in 2018. However, a total of 5,134 housing units were under construction by the National Housing Corporation and the State Department of Housing of which (4,700) of housing units commenced in 2019.

Total number of completed private residential and non-residential buildings by NCC went up to 13,976 units in 2019 compared to 12,725 units in 2018

Meanwhile, the value of approved private building plans for Nairobi City County declined to the lowest levels in five years partly attributed to the freeze in building approvals by county authorities.

The economic survey shows that actual government expenditure on housing increased by 310 percent from the 2015/16 fiscal year to the 2018/19 fiscal year, an increase from KSh. 6 billion to KSh. 24.8 billion.

In 2019, the construction sector registered a growth of 6.4 percent compared to growth of 6.9 percent in 2018 even as the index of reported private building works completed in Nairobi City County increased by 3.5 percent from 466.2 points in 2018 to 482.3 points in 2019.

Cement consumption decreased marginally by 0.3 percent from 5,948.7 thousand tonnes in 2018 to 5,933.3 thousand tonnes in 2019 while the sector’s total wage employment went up by 1.5 percent from 218.3 thousand persons registered in 2018 to 221.6 thousand persons in 2019.

The data also shows that the cost of materials for residential and non-residential buildings increased by 6.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, during the review period.  Similarly, labour cost recorded an increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 compared to 5.3 percent in 2018. The percentage change in cost of materials was 5.7 percent in 2019 compared to 3.1 percent in 2018.

Loans and advances from commercial banks to the construction sector grew by 1.6 percent from KSh 114.0 billion in 2018 to KSh 115.8 billion in 2019.

Read; Value of Building Approvals projected to decline