Kenya’s development status was upgraded to a lower middle income country by the World Bank in 2015, after the country revised it GDP giving it more room to borrow and invest in infrastructure among other sectors. Real estate development is closely influenced by infrastructure expansion and indeed some of the most likely investment destinations have been those where the government has invested heavily in infrastructure. Investments especially in land, the most basic resource, is at the centre of human development. A report released by HassConsult last week, the Land Price Index, may have given Kenyans more reason to invest in land. Here are some interesting figures from the report.

The Nairobi Satellite- 14 index is representative of land for sale in 14-satellite towns outside Nairobi. This towns include Athi River, Juja, Kiambu, Kiserian, Kitengela, Limuru, Mlolongo, Ngong, Ongata Rongai, Ruaka, Ruiru, Syokimau, Thika and Tigoni. According to the index, an investment in land 9 years ago would have grown seven fold by December of 2015. The average value for land has gone from 2.4 million in December 2007 to 19.0 million in December 2016, states the report. This is an increase of 691.7 per cent in total.

On the supply of advertised land from the 14 satelite towns, much of the supply came from Kitengela 19.1 per cent followed by Ruiru at 16.0 per cent and Juja with 9.2 per cent. These have been new frontiers in real estate in recent years and high on speculation. On the lower end Tigoni supplied just 1.3 per cent and 2.7 per cent from Ruaka.

The report also highlights the land price trends in 18 highest activity suburbs of Nairobi, which are represented by the Nairobi Suburbs- 18 Land Index. According to this index, land in those suburbs has increased in value 6.03 fold since December 2007. The average asking price for lands in these areas has gone from 30 million in Dec\ember 2007 to 185.2 million in December 2016.

Investments in these areas would have yielded 508 per cent returns in 9 years.

The market supply in these from these suburbs mostly came from Karen 28.9 per cent, followed by Lavington and Runda at 13.0 per cent and 10. 1 per cent respectively whereas Gigiri took up 1.2 per cent while Eastleigh and Donholm took 1.3 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. The later apparently lagging in supply due to their congested nature. With these figures, investors can easily decide where to go shopping.

As an investment in the 14 satellite towns are likely to have outperformed those in the 18 highest activity suburbs with an index value of 779 compared to the suburbs index value which was 503 or 276 less as per the index. This was double the performance of cattle which had an index value of 123.7, gold at 145.8 and crude oil performing with only 60.1 index value.

From the report, the investment tag line is this; Ksh. 1 million invested at the end of 2007 would have been worth ksh. 7.79 milllion if invested in land in Nairobi Satellite-14 areas, Ksh. 6.03 million if invested in land in Nairobi Suburb-18, Ksh. 2.37 million if invested in property, Ksh. 2.16 million if invested in lands bonds and Ksh. 1.15 million of invested in savings.To invest or not to invest in land is not up to debate.

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