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Nakumatt wants building of Hazina Towers stopped

Nakumatt Holdings wants the construction of Hazina Trade Centre stopped and the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) compelled to pay it Sh1.6 billion as compensation for lost business. The supermarket chain says the ongoing construction has seen the number of shoppers visiting its Lifestyle branch drop by 37 per cent, causing it huge losses and damages. Read more

Terrorism, oversupply blamed for sluggish property market in Kenya

The second quarter of this year saw a lethargic property market with reduced take-up rates for prime retail and office space and shift of focus in the residential segment to smaller residential apartments, says Knight Frank. In their Second Quarter 2014 Kenya Market Update report released last week, the real estate giant said the reduction in take-up rates for prime retail space was blamed on insecurity and terrorism. Read more

Be smart with mortgage payments

Something interesting is happening in the American housing market that Kenyan lenders, mortgage borrowers and other stakeholders in the real estate sector should pay attention to. The American Enterprise Institute has partnered with the Neighbourhood Assistance Corporation of America, a housing advocacy organisation, to help roll out a new 15-year mortgage designed to allow borrowers to build equity more quickly. Read more

Armed land grabbers turn life into living hell for city land owners

They are daring. They are in control. They are armed. They seem to be above the law. And they have no qualms about letting you know who is in charge. Forget the neighbour who moves his fence a few inches into your land or the pesky little fellow who is ever encroaching on your shamba back home; the modern land grabber comes equipped with an automatic rifle. Read more

Reits best real estate bet for low income earners

Real estate investment trusts (Reits) have featured prominently in business news since the Capital Markets (Real Estate Investment Trusts and Collective Investment Schemes) Regulations came to effect last year. Among their benefits is the entry of low-income earners into real estate investment. For low-income earners, investment in real estate has been elusive. While the sector has high returns on investment, its capital demands are limiting. Read more

Lodge that sits on stilts

It is arguably the world’s most photographed game lodge and is located only a short distance from the revered First World War battle fields. On a clear morning, Mt Kilimanjaro’s snowy peaks can be seen from the lodge. The Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge features a unique architectural design and style. Read more

How we rose from the Westgate Mall ashes

A year ago, four terrorists shocked the world with a brazen gun-and-grenade attack on shoppers and workers at Nairobi’s Westgate mall. The assault was meant to break Kenya’s economic spirit by targeting affluent locals and foreigners at one of the country’s thriving retail outlets. Read more

Row derails Sh3bn real estate project

A Sh3 billion real estate project is at the centre of a dispute between a businessman and Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati. The fight, which has been ongoing since May, is over a seven-acre piece of land in Lavington, Nairobi, on which Mr Ashok Rupshi Shah, the director of Summermount Holdings, plans to build low-cost housing units. Read more

Cashing in on plush ambassadorial homes

Construction activity is hotting up in Nairobi’s posh neighbourhoods as savvy developers move in to take advantage of the rising demand for ambassadorial homes. Targeted in the move are expatriates and diplomats, who continue to play a crucial role in the residential and commercial property market in the country. Read more

Insecurity slows malls business as shoppers keep off

Large property developers and major retailers recorded a slowdown in activity in the second quarter of the year over insecurity, Knight Frank has said, but notes the investors are now planning expansions. Share This Story. In its latest report, the international property management firm says shopping malls saw a seven per cent reduction in human traffic as some tenants shied away from booking spaces. Read more

Mt Kenya Holiday Homes project takes shape

The ongoing efforts to facilitate the recovery of Kenya’s tourism products are expected bear fruit in the near future, as Mt Kenya Holiday Homes enters its second phase of construction. The first phase of the Sh5 billion private investment project, which broke ground mid last year, has been completed. Construction planning for the second phase is in high gear after phase one sold out in record time. It is situated a few kilometres from Nanyuki town. Read more

As lifestyles evolve, small towns line up for the spoils

The need for privacy and exclusivity is driving young professionals to seek residence in estates outside major urban areas, also known as satellite towns. The demographic that was initially attracted to things like quick access to entertainment joints now prefers out-of-town residences that hide them from the hustle and bustle of city life, Read more

When mortgage is the better evil

A columnist in a local daily early this week lamented that Kenya’s property market rewards cash buyers and penalises the mortgage borrower. The writer’s main aim was to show that in Kenya, buying a property to let by way of a mortgage does not make business sense since at the current interest rates, the investor will still have to top up the rental income to pay the mortgage every month. Read more

Texturise the walls in your home

Introducing texture and colour into one or more rooms is a fantastic way of enhancing the style of your home without breaking the bank. You can choose to add texture to the entire space, an accent wall or inside a bookcase or alcove. Read more

Wilson estate owner loses Sh1bn claim for compensation

The developer of a housing estate bordering the Wilson Airport will not get compensation for Sh1 billion loss incurred after the court ruled that Kenya Airports Authority was right to suspended construction. High Court judge Isaac Lenaola Thursday ruled that the estate fell within the flight path, and held that the regulator did not infringe on the rights of the developer, Patrick Kanyuira. Read more

What’s next for Nairobi’s Eastlands?

Shadrack Shebbie lives in Jericho estate in Nairobi’s Eastlands. He lives in a one bedroom house that his father started renting from the city council in the 1970s. After (his father) retired and moved back to his rural home in Gem, Siaya County, the family including Shadrack continued to live in the Jericho house. Read more

Why investing in your own office space is a good idea

Many businesses reach a point in which they are curious as to whether it would be beneficial for them to purchase office space rather than continue to lease. If you are a new business owner considering whether to acquire a facility by purchase or by lease, you may have a tendency to concentrate on the short-term, such as the first year cash flow projections that would result for each of the alternatives. Read more

Caution: Bathrooms and showers can be a death trap

June Wanjiru remembers the incident vividly. A year ago she received a distress call from a friend saying that one of her colleagues had been found dead, the body lying on the bathroom floor. Autopsy results would later reveal that the deceased, a man in his 60s, had suffered a head injury. Read more

Kenya’s property market rewards cash buyers at expense of mortgage takers

Last Tuesday, my friend Wallace Kantai penned a very interesting column in this newspaper titled Why Kenya’s real estate scene is a bubble waiting to burst. I read it online as I like to see reader comments, some of which are interesting, others amusing while others demonstrate that there are one or two readers who are suffering from bats in their belfry. Read more

Equity Bank entangled in State House land grab probe

Equity Bank is one of the institutions under investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) over alleged grabbing of Mombasa State House land. The EACC moved to court to stop any transactions related to plot number MI/XXVI/1010, which is alleged to have been part of the Mombasa State House but was hived off and allocated to private developers. Read more

This is how you can design a garden with the function in mind

One of the most common mistakes we make when designing our garden spaces is to design for beauty at the expense of function. We regard landscaping as a beautification exercise with little purpose beyond making our homes look nice. Read more

Kimaiyo: 26,000 houses needed for police service

The Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo has revealed that the Police Service faces a shortage of 26,000 houses. Kimaiyo explained that accommodation of officers was a major challenge even as the Government was able to construct 2000 houses in the last financial year, with 44 units in Ruai. Read more

Tassia infrastructure will boost property prices

Last Thursday, property owners in Nairobi’s Tassia Estate lost their bid to block the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) from asking them to pay for an infrastructure upgrade comprising a 90.4km tarmac road, installation of street lights and construction of culverts and storm water drainage. Read more

Kenya’s affluent addresses

Walking in Gigiri, you feel lost and you most likely are. Hawk eyed security guards peer from slots in massive gates, and along the roads private security firms' patrol vehicles are parked strategically. You get the same sense along Riverside Drive in Nairobi. You can hear those peep holes click open and shut, and the sense of being watched just doesn't leave you. Read more

We shall repossess all grabbed public land, agency vows

The National Land Commission is asking those with title deeds of grabbed land to surrender them. “Those clinging on the documents are wasting time because the titles will be revoked anyway after the ongoing review,” commission Vice chair Mrs Abigael Mbakaya-Mukolwe said on Friday. Read more

‘Home Expo exhibitors are the real deal’

Three months ago, the inaugural Kiambu Homes Expo was held at the Thika Road Mall. Among the visitors was Jacob Chacha who hardly misses such events whenever they are held in the city. Chacha recounted how he had previously suffered in the hands of conmen masquerading as property owners or agents in the city. Read more

Property and Home Living Expo slated for September

This year's Property and Home Living Expo will open its doors from September 4-7 at Nairobi's Sarit Centre exhibition hall. The event's theme is 'Building networks to foster county real estate growth and home development'. Major property investors are pushing for incentives to spur county living and investment, and are confident new government can unlock the full potential of the real estate sector in the counties, says the exhibition organizer Mr Abdi Juma. Read more

‘We need property developers, quick!’

Migori, one of the fastest growing counties, lacks decent housing for both the middle and lower income workers. Located 63 kilometres south of Kisii town, the leaders of the county that borders Tanzanian say there is an influx of visitors, most of them traders, who cannot find appropriate accommodation. Read more

Capital gains tax to hit housing most

Introduction of five per cent tax on earnings made in properties will push house ownership further out of reach of most Kenyans. Speaking to Nation in an interview, the chief executive officer of listed firm Home Afrika, Mr Njoroge Ng’ang’a, said property developers will pass on the capital gains tax to buyers, which will dampen home ownership. Read more

Former British Army officer on a mission to secure buildings

As more Kenyans spend a significant part of their lives inside public buildings, the new landmarks heighten security risks. WAHINYA HENRY talked to Tony Sugden, CEO, Warrior Security, about insecurity solutions. What is your experience in security matters in Kenya or abroad? Read more

Widow sues Joseph Kaguthi over Sh12m property

Nyumba Kumi initiative chairman Joseph Kaguthi has been sued in a dispute over ownership of land valued at Sh12 million. Ms Lucy Macharia, a widow, claims that her plots in Ruai, Nairobi, were fraudulently allocated to a third party. Read more

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