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Sacco buys office block for Sh210m in Kericho

Kericho-based Imarisha sacco has completed the purchase of the landmark Posta Plaza building and embarked on a multi-million shilling upgrade. The four-storey building was acquired at a cost of Sh210 million from the Posta Kenya pensioners, the sacco chairman Mathew Ruto said. Read more

Aging sisters lay claim to Sh3.5 billion piece of land

Haggard-faced and worn out, four women gathered last week in Mitaboni, Machakos, to tell the story of their lives. They cut sorry figures, the combination of age, hardship, and mental anguish having taken a toll on them. Looking at these women, it is difficult to believe that between them, they could be worth Sh3.5 billion. Read more

Inside Kenya’s most luxurious homes

The housing landscape is exhibiting an interesting trajectory; although homeowners prefer to congregate together into little sustainable (gated) communities, they still crave privacy as individuals but without losing complete touch with their neighbours. Read more

‘It is okay to be a renter’

Shelter Afrique Managing Director James Mugerwa says home ownership through loans and mortgages can’t work for all Kenyans and it is ok to be a renter: 1. Shelter Afrique is planning a three-day conference on the rental situation in the country and on the continent. What informed the move. Read more

Nairobi’s hustling contractors

It is early Monday morning on Nairobi’s Moi Avenue where we meet casually dressed men in their 20s, 30s and 40s around Tembo Co-operative House and Rahimtula Trust Building. Some are standing in groups of three, five or eight, while others are sitting on an old bench bantering. Some of them are holding their tools of trade, including paint brushes and saws, in their hands. Read more

Simple landscaping ideas for a serene home

Landscaping can turn your compound into a serene place regardless of the environment. Contrary to popular belief, landscaping goes beyond the mere planting of plants. Experts describe landscape architecture as the creation of spaces and places for human enjoyment. Read more

Agents fleecing newcomers to Kisumu

Shortage of affordable housing in Kisumu is exposing newcomers to exploitation by agents charging high service fees and rent. According to those who have fallen victim, the agents demand a non-refundable viewing fee of between Sh1,000 and Sh2,000.  Read more

Owning a home versus renting

In a world where everyone longs to own a home, it can be quite shocking to come across a headline like, “Homeowners: A New Class of Fools”, or a statement like, “ Homeownership is for Suckers”.
I recently read a story with the above headline in which a 32-year-old homeowner was regretting why she bought the house in the first place. Read more

Apartments take place of mansions at the North Coast

Two reasons are driving the redesign: growing demand for housing and the desire to maximise on profit from limited land. North Coast, known for its ground-level structures popular in Swahili designs, is phasing them out and introducing gated, multi-storied luxurious apartments. Read more

Kariithi family set to develop Sh15bn Kiambu golf estate

The family of Kenyatta-era powerful permanent secretary Geoffrey Kariithi will in September break ground for a multi-billion shilling golf estate hived off a Kiambu coffee farm. Kibuga Kariithi, son of the late PS, said the family plans to turn part of its coffee farm in Kiambu County into a real-estate development that on completion will be worth Sh15 billion. Read more

You can never go wrong with fabric wall hangings

Fabric wall hangings can add character and texture to walls in a way that paint or wallpaper can never achieve. Whether hanging on the head of a bed, on corridors or hallways, wall fabric hangings will add dramatised and chic boldness to your space. Read more

House breakers devise new way of raiding upmarket suburbs

They allegedly posed as visitors, opened an apartment with master keys and took Sh339,000 in cash from one apartment and gold jewellery worth Sh40,000. They then moved to the next apartment, witnesses say, but their plan was halted by the screams of a woman. Read more

How about a rent policy to solve housing crisis?

Access to housing is emerging as one of the most daunting challenges of the 21st Century in many African countries. The continent is increasingly getting urbanised, pushing up the demand for affordable and decent housing, says James Mugerwa, the managing director of Shelter Afrique. Read more

Is it celebration time for borrowers?

The quarterly reports have for the last two or so years painted a gloomy picture for the housing and mortgage sub-sectors in the country, mainly due to runaway interest rates and high housing prices.  But for the second quarter of 2014, both painted a positive outlook for the real estate sector. Read more

Big or small: Does house size matter?

In a developing country of 40-plus million people that gained independence over 50 years ago, housing the masses has become a challenge that different stakeholders have been grappling with. Despite the many efforts aimed at addressing the housing problem, solution seems far away. Read more

Bank lessens supply burden for builders

Co-operative Bank customers in the building industry will get construction materials at discounted rates, thanks to a partnership deal between the bank and ASL Ltd, a major supplier of building materials in the country. The negotiated prices will also come with a 30-day credit as well as free delivery of items purchased within Nairobi and free warehousing services.  Read more

MCAs raise red flag over construction on railway land

Members of the county assembly have raised the alarm over the ongoing construction on a five-acre piece of land belonging to the Kenya Railways Corporation, saying the agency owes Nakuru County more than Sh200 million in land rates. Two prominent businessmen and a Mombasa-based flour miller are building on the land. Read more

Cap on land sizes looming

When Deputy President William Ruto last week urged farmers in Nakuru to stop fragmenting their parcels of land, he was unwittingly preparing landowners in the country for the inevitable. Ruto’s concern was that sub-dividing land into small sizes would increase poverty as they are economically non-viable. Read more

Nairobi plots that sell for over Sh1 billion

The cost of land hit new highs last week, defying a price correction projected for the real estate segment. The asking price for Nairobi’s prime plots continued to breach the Sh1 billion mark in a trend that is set to push all but deep-pocketed buyers out of the lucrative business. Read more

How to choose a floor plan that works for you

After raising enough funds, Michael Ong’any embarked on plans to build his dream home upcountry. He drove to an architectural firm near his office and bought an architectural building plan of a three-bedroom house with a master ensuite. Read more

The Sacco revolution

As industry players try to come up with various ways to address the high housing shortage in the country, Saccos are emerging as important stakeholders in housing provision. Currently, it is estimated that Kenya has an annual housing deficit of 200,000 units, with only 50,000 being constructed per year. Read more

What to consider when choosing a home builder

One of the challenges you will face when building a house is selecting a good home builder. This is an important consideration because as we have seen before, failure to get the right person for the job, has often led to the collapse of houses, resulting in deaths of tens of people and loss of millions of shillings. Read more

How Lapsset area gained value

Just 15 years ago, the Lamu land that is now the subject of intense debate was an idle, forested area that nobody was keen to buy.The huge tracts were only important to the hunter-gatherer Boni community and timber merchants who used to make money out of logging. Read more

Nyayo Estate residents oppose NSSF home sales

A row has erupted between the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and a homeowners association over the planned sale of a Sh400 million block of shops and houses in Nairobi’s Embakasi area. The dispute involves a recently completed four-storey building whose construction the association unsuccessfully tried to prevent. Read more

The law is clear on the status of grabbed land

The ghost of land grabbing returned to haunt investors after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed cancellation of titles of 500,000 acres in Lamu County. The President said that the titles were illegally acquired by 22 entities and 13 out of 21 berths for the Lamu Port were also allocated to individuals. Read more

Britam’s partner Acorn to put up Sh40bn property projects

Acorn Group, a company partly owned by listed financial services group Britam, plans to develop real estate projects worth Sh40 billion over the next two years. The property management firm said the projects constitute a mix of shopping malls, commercial offices, residential properties and commercial hotels to be located within Nairobi and its satellite towns of Kitengela and Lukenya. Read more

Guide to painting the inside of your house

When you move into a new house - whether rental or your own - you may want to change the colour of one room or the whole house. Here is how you can do it yourself: Read more

Let’s insure title deeds to reduce fraud

Despite the rapid growth of the real estate sector, getting a piece of land with a clean and trouble-free title deed remains a major challenge. Indeed, tales of people who have invested huge sums in the sector, only for their property to be brought down by bulldozers, abound. Read more

New fees pinch buyers

Property lawyers have over the past three months been charging higher fees for property transactions in line with the new Advocates Remuneration Order (ARO). The fees were raised by over 40 per cent. Read more

Africa’s most photographed house

African Heritage House, located on Mombasa Road near Mlolongo, is the most photographed house in Africa. Built between 1989 and 1994, the house was designed by Alan Donovan, the co-founder of the African Heritage Pan-African Galleries, with former Vice-President, the late Joseph Murumbi and his wife Sheila. Read more

Ngilu closes Coast land registries for files audit

Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu has closed all lands offices in the coastal region for files audit and re-organization. Registries in Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi will remain closed for seven working days starting August 1 to August 12. Read more

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