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Living large in a small space

Kenya’s property market has always catered for students, bachelors and bachelorettes and those people who like their own company and smaller spaces. Bedsitters are to be found outside nearly every campus in the country. They also line up most of the high density areas around our cities. Read more

Landowners receive Sh5.5bn in new rail payout

The Kenya Railways Corporation will next week start to distribute half of the Sh10 billion to landowners whose property was acquired to build a new Mombasa-Nairobi railway line. Managing director Atanas Maina announced in Mombasa on Tuesday that Sh5.5 billion would be wired to the accounts of 2,000 landowners in Kwale, Taita Taveta, Makueni and Kajiado, putting to rest one of the sensitive aspects of the mega project.  Read more

Coming soon: Kenya’s world class metropolis

In an attempt to decongest the capital, the Government is planning six new cities that will reorganise economic activities around the city, writes PETER MUIRURI That Nairobi’s socio-economic services are stretched to the limit is not in doubt. In fact, over the years, urban planners have grappled with the problem of decongesting the city whose population is now close to four million. Read more

ABC Bank in legal fight with developer over Kitisuru plot

ABC Bank is embroiled in a legal battle with a property developer over sale of a 2.5-acre plot in the upmarket Kitisuru suburb, with one of the lender’s directors accused of foul play. Tulips Holdings wants the High Court to compel ABC to compensate it to the tune of Sh335 million, comprising value of the land and opportunity cost in terms of rental yields it would have earned from putting up residential units on it. Read more

Construction of lawyers’ convention centre on course

Plans to construct the Sh1.2 billion International Arbitration and Convention Centre in Nairobi’s South C Estate is underway after the High Court in Mombasa and Nairobi dismissed two separate cases filed by disgruntled Law Society of Kenya (LSK) members. The unhappy LSK members moved to court to object what they termed as compulsory contribution of Sh39,000 by each member. Read more

To halt demolitions, City Hall must issue building permits openly

If you want evidence of Kenya’s strengthening connections to the global economy, look no further than its real estate industry. The world’s interest in our property is documented in news stories about the entry of international developers, the monetary worth of building approvals and the securitisation of real estate. Read more

Ngilu- National Land Commission wars hit lenders

Developers and lending institutions have lost large sums of money because of the fight between the Lands ministry and the National Land Commission (NLC), says a new survey. The survey, released last week by Land Development and Governance Institute, also singles out land professionals as another group of service seekers who have lost money over the last one-and-half years due to constant differences between the two institutions. Read more

Simple and affordable ways to upgrade your home

For many people, making their home enticing involves employing the services of an interior designer with good taste, importing high-end furniture or acquiring a large space to build an expensive-looking structure. However, this does not always have to be the case. Home and Away talked to experts on how to upgrade your home without spending too much money. Read more

Karen land is public property, says Cord

The Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) says it will present “documented evidence” to the anti-corruption agency to prove the controversial land in Karen is public property. Several Cord legislators on Sunday tabled copies of maps, letters and other documents they claimed showed government officials had illegally authorised subdivision of the land. Read more

How to achieve a comfy toddler’s room

When babies start crawling and walking, household furniture dynamics significantly change to adapt to the toddlers new found mobility. The toddler’s bedroom is no exception, if space allows the room should provide a place to sleep as well as space for the child to spend many happy hours in exploratory play in a functional, attractive yet safe area. Read more

Housing boom lifts Kenya to league of mid income nations

The review is expected to catapult East Africa’s biggest economy to middle-income status, with per capita Gross Domestic Product rising to about Sh110,000. The updated national accounts, set to be unveiled this morning by Planning secretary Anne Waiguru, show that the contribution of real estate sector to Kenya’s gross domestic product (GDP) has more than doubled to 10.6 per cent from the previous 4.9 per cent. Read more

New plan to bring services closer to Nairobi residents

The City of Nairobi has not had a framework to guide its development since 2000. The 1973 Nairobi Metropolitan Growth Strategy lapsed in 2000. There have been unsuccessful attempts to come up with a new plan for the city. The Nairobi City County administration has prioritized the preparation of a new plan that will align city development with Vision 2030, the Constitution and global conventions towards sustainable development. Read more

Uhuru shields real estate investors from Nema costs

President Uhuru Kenyatta has moved to cushion real estate investors from rising costs with the directive for a maximum cap on the environmental impact assessment (EIA) fees paid to the regulator. The President said on Friday that the current regime where property developers pay the fees as a percentage of the value of projects is punitive and that the National Environment Management Authority (Nema) should revert to a flat rate. Read more

What drives global real estate markets?

A Cushman & Wakefield report, Winning in Growth Cities, quotes the World Economic Forum ( WEF) as positing that the main mega-trends relevant to cities are demographics and include urbanisation, the rise of the middle class and changing lifestyles. These, according to WEF, are exemplified by the growth of Millennials or Generation Y. Read more

Firm to put up Sh1.6bn city gated houses

Real-estate firm Lifestyle Apartments is putting up a Sh1.6 billion gated community targeting high and medium-income earners. The developer has announced it will construct 310 units along Mombasa Road over the next two years. The units will include 230 two-bedroom apartments and 80 three-bedroom apartments targeting expatriates and mid-level managers. Read more

Luxury rental market slows down in Nairobi

Nairobi recorded weak growth in prime rents in the second quarter of the year. This is according to Knight Frank’s Prime Global Rent Index. According to the index, however, a number of the world’s key financial centres rose up the annual rankings despite seeing weaker growth in this period. Read more

Naivasha welcomes its first gated estate

Naivasha is set to welcome a gated community estate targeting the middle and upper classes. Located five kilometres from Naivasha Town and 400 metres from the Nairobi-Nakuru highway next to Karai Village, the Italian Luxury Court is expected to address the housing crisis in the town.  Read more

Offices that are more than work spaces

Every year, Inc magazine lists some of the world’s best offices. They comprise some of the world’s most inspiring, spectacular, and just straight-up useful office spaces built within the last three years. These office areas are sophisticated, thoughtfully designed spaces that point to the future. Read more

Borrowers suffer as banks reject titles to give loans

Banks and property owners are bearing the brunt of the raging dispute between Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and the National Land Commission. Due to the supremacy battle, some financial institutions are reluctant or even declining to accept newly issued titles as collateral for loans. Read more

Tenant purchase scheme vs mortgage

To some people, tenant purchase schemes (TPS) may sound like taking a mortgage. But the two are different. For one, the requirements under a tenant purchase scheme are not as stringent and detailed as those of a mortgage. Read more

Why Nairobi’s skyline is growing more modern

When Ravi Vasta, the managing director of Mark Properties, wanted to build something exceptional, he flew his team of consultants to Dubai for inspiration. According to Vasta, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers hundreds of brilliant architectural designs, which he calculated would stimulate the team’s imagination.  Read more

Unfulfilled promises’ land developer in court

A real estate company in Nairobi has run into trouble with its customers over alleged breach of contract. Home owners at the upmarket Fourways Junction residential estate on Kiambu Road have sued Muga Developers Ltd for allegedly refusing to fulfil its undertaking to provide services that formed part of the agreement for the purchase of the houses. Read more

Urban areas contain order and chaos, plagued by inequalities

World Habitat Day 2014 was commemorated on Monday, October 6, with a befitting theme, ‘Voices from Slums’, to focus stakeholders’ attention on the hundreds of thousands of people living in poor housing conditions in urban areas. October 2014 has been dubbed the Urban Month by experts as Kenya grapples with the complexities of devolved urbanisation. Read more

Kenyans living the good life

Are Victoria Courts and Victoria Furnitures one and the same thing? Victoria Furnitures was started in 1969. Victoria Courts, on the other hand, started about two years ago. It is a partnership between Victoria Furnitures and a company called Courts from Mauritius, which has 33 stores. Read more

Enact laws on rent deposit, experts say

When Ms Khadija Aziz received news of her transfer to a new station, she contacted her caretaker to facilitate the refund of her Sh14,500 rent and Sh2,500 electricity deposit as she prepared to move from her house in Kitengela. That was on a Thursday and the caretaker promised Ms Aziz that she would have her money by the weekend. Read more

Nairobi among markets to benefit from the rise of super cities

The Kenyan real estate market, Nairobi in particular, is one of the African markets that will benefit from rental growth in 15 leading global cities over the next five years.  A new report by Knight Frank says rising new technology industries and economic recovery are set to drive double digit rental growth in these 15 leading cities. Read more

A new report by Knight Frank says rising new technology industries and economic recovery are set to drive double digit rental growth in these 15 leading cities.
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Tough law targets property owners

Buildings on river banks, railway and road reserves will be demolished if a new law proposed by the Nairobi County government comes into force. The proposed law also targets buildings on public land and those that do not meet standards approved by the county. The proposed law also targets buildings on public land and those that do not meet standards approved by the county. Read more

When architecture mimics nature

For millenniums, man has always sought ways of mimicking what is found in nature in order to improve the lives of mankind. The concept, known as biomimicry continues to inspire designers, engineers and architects the world over as they observe how nature solves complex design challenges. Read more

House hunting in the new age, how you should do it

Many urban dwellers seeking to buy or rent houses are increasingly asking for more when deciding where to live. Forget those inviting descriptions in colourful brochures and websites of the hundreds of ‘good living’ properties that have cropped up everywhere. Read more

Opening Kenya’s real estate to the world

Woodhams grew up in Kenya. He actually came to Kenya in 1973 when he was only three. His father was an expat in Mombasa (lectured at the Mombasa Polytechnic for a number of years).  He started school in Kenya before moving to the UK. He came back to Kenya after university and after a while left to work for Knight Frank in Tanzania before coming back to Kenya in 2003 to run the Kenyan operation. Read more

Housing boom lifts Kenya to league of mid income nations

Kenya’s lucrative real estate sector has rapidly expanded to become the fourth biggest contributor to the country’s wealth, a review of national data shows.. The review is expected to catapult East Africa’s biggest economy to middle-income status, with per capita Gross Domestic Product rising to about Sh110,000. Read more

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