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Managing your construction costs

Did you know that it’s possible to manage the costs of your construction project without necessarily cutting corners? Yes, you can ensure that the costs of the project are as optimal as possible without changing or compromising the building materials or the integrity of the building. And incidentally, this has nothing to do with buying second-rate materials that leave a lot to be desired after the completion of the project or by being conniving to your workforce. Here is how you do it: First of all, the choice of the design of the house is paramount and the simpler the design, the better. Read more


Who is Real Estate Investment Trusts meant for?

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) finally gazetted the Real Estate Investment Trusts ( Reits) regulations after about three years since releasing the first draft. The authority took time to get feedback from relevant experts and professionals on its draft rules. Read more

Kericho set to get modern shopping mall

Kericho Town is to get its first shopping mall, as Green Square Mall starts the construction of a two-floor mall with a supermarket and more than 20 stores and restaurants, on the Nairobi-Kisumu highway into the town. Kericho County’s population of more than a million people is currently served only by small hotels and single retail outlets, yet boasts a wide base of affluent consumers, said Chris Ng’eno, director and developer, Green Square Mall. “We were keen on having a building that would change the face of Kericho, while catering to the emerging middle class,” said Ng’eno. Read more

Terrorism cover no longer optional

Real estate investors are increasingly insuring property against terror attacks in the wake of rising insecurity. The terror attack on the upmarket Westgate Shopping Mall last year that left 67 people dead and several others injured opened a new chapter in property cover. Read more

These ideas will come in handy when decorating your home

Many desire to re-decorate their homes but procrastinate, not knowing where to start. As the saying goes, Rome was not built in a day and neither will your great idea strike at one go. So rather than be paralysed by fear of failing, here are a few ideas on how to get started and how to slowly build up on a decorating theme. Read more


Kenya a high risk for insurers

A bout four years ago, when the level of insecurity was still not as bad as it is today, a homeowner in one of Nairobi’s upmarket neighbourhoods shared with me how costly it was for the residents of his neighbourhood to ensure they were secure. Read more

In construction, the customer is not always right

In business nowadays, it’s cliché to say the customer is always right. Well, this may be true to a great extent. Indeed, a business exists for the sole purpose of the customer’s needs and so the customer is king. They thus guide businesses on how they want their needs to be met. But this may not be entirely so in the construction industry. In this business, the supremacy of the customer is, somehow, checked and controlled. Read more

You can correct your name on the title deed

Many people have raised concern over various issues affecting land registration in the country. Among the concerns is the relevance of a form called “application to correct name in the register’’. Read more

Only solar panel manufacturer in East Africa under threat

Effective last week, solar panels and batteries imported into the country will be exempt from value added tax (VAT), a move meant to encourage use of the free and clean energy resource. However, the only solar equipment manufacturer in the East and Central Africa region, Ubbink East Africa, a firm based in Naivasha is up in arms arguing that the move is bound to kill their industry while it was only beginning to make up for the huge investment it plowed in three years ago. Read more

Experts debate proposed Physical Planning Bill

Several stakeholders have welcomed the idea of cascading planning down to the county level and proposals to hire regional planning directors for urban or municipal centres for the purposes of coordinating planning under the watch of a Director General as contained in the Draft Physical Planning Bill. However, officials of professional bodies such as the Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK) and legal authorities in the built environment refrained from voicing out opinions as their members were yet to agree on a common position on the Bill. Read more

Lenders panic over fake titles

Recently, Eldoret police boss Erastus Muthamia alerted judges and magistrates in the region not to clear bond documents (titles) until their authenticity is established. Muthamia, who led a crackdown on fake documents in the area, further alerted banks on circulation of fake and fraudulently acquired documents. Read more

Why this is the best time to invest in real estate

It is a beehive of activity as heavy earthmovers and a group of builders assemble brick and mortar for a lavish property development taking shape on an expansive piece of land situated on the eight-lane Thika superhighway. Read more

End Konza boundary row, Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu told

Makueni leaders marked Madaraka Day with a renewed call for a quick solution to the Konza Techno city boundary row that has delayed it’s take off. The leaders, including Governor Kivutha Kibwana, Deputy Governor Adelina Mwau, MPs Regina Ndambuki, Daniel Maanzo and the Members of the County Assembly trooped to Malili, a few metres from the Konza city site where they warned the Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu against politicising the project. Read more

Corporate governance in professional building firms

Architectural firms need to have a separate entity from that of their owners. There are just too many cases of professional building firms ceasing to exist after the owner dies. Last week, I was privileged to watch a legal drama, which was not only quite entertaining but also very informative. I literally took down notes while watching it. Of all the highlights I gathered, I want to mention only one, the corporate affairs and the general governance of the company depicted in this drama. This is because I found its modus operandi quite impeccable and worth borrowing a leaf from. Read more

SA investor to build estate in Kikuyu

A South African private equity (PE) firm is set to develop a Sh500 million residential estate in Kikuyu in a joint venture with local investors. Johannesburg-based Phatisa and Nairobi’s Africa Reit are planning to build 66 apartments that will be sold for between Sh7.5 million and Sh8.5 million per unit. Read more


‘We built estate by saving Sh100 a day’

What can you do with Sh100 a day? To many, very little, but to members of Kitemoto Housing Co-operative Society, a Sacco formed by 100 boda boda (motorcycle) operators in Kitengela town, the amount can buy a house. Read more

Law gives women right to matrimonial property
provides for enactment of legislation to regulate the recognition and protection of matrimonial property on land matters.
Read more at:

Women are basking in unprecedented protection from practices that previously denied them matrimonial property and land. Chapter Five of the Constitution, for instance, provides for enactment of legislation to regulate the recognition and protection of matrimonial property on land matters. Read more

Demand rising for Kisumu apartments

Tourists and Kenyans from the Diaspora visiting Kisumu county are increasingly opting to reside in apartments as opposed to hotels in Kisumu town. As a result, new investors are being cautioned to time study the needs of their intended clients before breaking grounds in new projects. Mr James Langat, a real estate investor in Kisumu, says there is a general shift among the tourists who visits the lake side region to stay in apartments rather than hotels or holiday homes. Read more

Boraqs graduates 92 into built environment

The Board of Registration of Architects and Quantity Surveyors (Boraqs) last week admitted 57 architects and 35 quantity surveyors to the profession. Speaking during a ceremony held at the Safari Park Hotel to welcome the new graduates, the Chairman of the National Construction Authority (NCA) Daniel Manduku acknowledged that despite having registered over 25,000 contractors, local professionals faced serious disadvantages over their foreign counterparts. Read more

Cheaper building options you could consider

The popular quarry bricks and mortar with machine-made, kiln-hardened clay bricks method of building may just have found its match. In the new method, bricks are broad compared to quarried ones and are placed one upon another without any need of binding mortar, something that is helping builders cut down on construction costs. Read more

Building plan approval process goes digital

Did you now that permits administration in the county of Nairobi is no longer an analogue process but rather a digital one? Let me rephrase: Did you know, if you were seeking council approvals for your dream house plans, you can do so online? Well, if you didn’t, please be informed that the next time you are following up on the status of your submitted architectural plans, you should do so from the comfort of your home, no phone calls, no hustles, nothing. Read more

It’s safe to buy property online

According to the Communications Commission of Kenya, Internet subscribers in Kenya have grown by over 55 per cent in the last one year. By Internet rankings, OLX is one of the leading web platforms in the country where Kenyans sell their homes and household goods. Read more

Easy steps to building your home

Estimates by the recently released HassConsult-KPDA Index estimates that the shortfall in middle class housing in Nairobi alone will be at around 1.6 million by the year 2030. The Government had set a target to deliver 200,000 building units a year, but statistics show planned housing builtding plans as only 15,000 units. Such grim statistics show that the Government and developers are way behind in delivering homes to Kenyans. Read more

Why steel is a good trussing alternative

With prices of roofing materials skyrocketing every day, real estate and industrial developers are looking for cheaper roofing materials to save on the cost of construction. One such material is light gauge steel truss, which is quickly replacing conventional timber.
Read more

Kenyans to lose in Ardhi House shutdown, says National Land Commission

Kenyans will continue making losses due to stalled activities at Nairobi’s central registry, records registry and the banking hall, the lands agency argued. Read more

How to house growing population and a planning vacuum

In its latest report, The Mortgage Company showed how desperately government intervention is needed to make mortgage a viable way of owning a home by Kenyans.
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Why the wealthy are moving out of posh suburbs

Even after 50 years of independence, Nairobi’s planning still largely mirrors its colonial era image. The capital’s initial planning strategically positioned the white settlers in the North and West parts of the city, areas that later earned the name leafy suburbs. Read more

High demand raises approvals for new house plans by 34.2pc

The value of approved building plans jumped by 34.2 per cent, the fastest pace in four years, reflecting rising demand for housing units in urban centers. Economic Survey data for 2013 shows that building plans worth Sh243.1 billion received approval from authorities last year compared to Sh181.1 billion in the previous year. Read more

Why high-end real estate market has picked up in Nairobi

Real estate activity has picked up at the top-end of the market for the first quarter of this year, the latest Hass Property Index shows. However, both the middle-income and low-income segments have witnessed a slowdown in activity. Read more

Understanding land deals and financial complexities

Complex webs of finance can often create barriers to sustainable development but research on large scale land deals published by The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) shows that understanding and harnessing this complexity can create opportunities for public accountability. Co-author Dr Lorenzo Cotula presented the findings at the annual World Bank conference on land and poverty last month. Read more

Which way for mortgages?

Prohibitive mortgage rates continue to ensure that owning dream homes remains the preserve of some wealthy cash buyers. It beats logic that 51 years after independence, there are just about 20,000 mortgage accounts against a population of more than 40 million people. Read more

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