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Saccos ditch agriculture for better-yielding real estate

Thanks to a construction boom, co-operative societies, which previously focused on farming, or offering savings and credit facilities, are venturing into real estate. Indeed, they are now among investors who are turning what was previously farmland into built-up commercial complexes or residential areas. Indeed, they are now among investors who are turning what was previously farmland into built-up commercial complexes or residential areas. Read more

Freeze order on contested accounts in BAAM, Acorn suit extended

The High Court has ordered that bank accounts opened by companies jointly owned by British American Asset Managers (BAAM) and real estate developer Acorn remain frozen until an ongoing legal battle between the firms is determined. Justice David Onyancha, while extending the freeze orders on the bank accounts and several properties held by the developer, Thursday argued that failure to extend the orders may lead to transfer of the cash, which could render BAAM's suits against the property developer useless. Read more

Mega real estate projects spur growth in housing sector

The county government has introduced incentives for real estate developers and this has spurred growth in this sector. According to Governor Nderitu Gachagua, the county has more than eight multi-billion shilling projects currently ongoing that include hotels, adventure parks, golf courses and residential estates. In a speech read on his behalf by Housing Executive John Maina during the Sh5 billion, Mt Kenya Holiday Homes open day, Read more

Firm unveils cheap housing concept

A consortium of American, British and Indian investors have launched what is touted to be Kenya’s most affordable brick and mortar houses in a gated community. Blue Haven Initiative, a US family organisation, in partnership with India’s Metropark. Developers and Housing Infrastructure (MDHI) and British and Kenyan investors, are putting up a Sh3 billion housing project in Athi River. Read more

Slum dwellers get reprieve from illegal power sellers

Illegally connected wires crisscrossing rusty roofs and low-hanging cables without protective insulation are common sights in slums across Kenya. Infrastructural inadequacies and unfulfilled economic promises have created a dangerous income-generation opportunity for unemployed youths who vandalise transformers to provide illegal electricity connections in the slums. Read more

Ideas to help brighten your front porch into your home

Most people tend to focus more on the interior design of the house forgetting the exterior - especially the front door/porch and yet this is what gives the first glimpse of what to expect inside the house. The front door is the first statement you make to everyone who visits your home. Whether the door is made of steel or wood, what matters is the attractiveness it gives the front porch. Read more

New road brings cheer to investors

The construction of the Lanet-Ndundori-Olkalou road has opened up areas on the outskirts of Nakuru for growth, with investors, including those keen on real estate, rushing to cash in on the new opportunities. According to UN Habitat, Nakuru is the fastest growing city in East and Central Africa. This can partly be attributed to the new road network within the town and surrounding areas. Read more

Youth create real estate location website

How about using your phone to browse properties located hundreds of kilometres away instead of going to search physically? And how about getting the exact geographical location of a house or plot you are interested in using Google Maps to be sure it is located at a place you like? Those are the questions that three young men asked themselves three years ago, and now they have to show for it. Read more

Firm plans 387-acre homes in Limuru

A real estate firm is planning to turn a 387-acre piece of land near Limuru into a massive mixed-use estate, adding to other such developments planned for or under development in Kiambu County. The plan by Red Coral Properties Limited will see 3,304 housing units put up on 172 acres of land and development of commercial and retail space done on 39 acres. Also in the scheme are 17 light industrial developments, mostly warehouses and logistics facilities. Read more

Quantity surveyors can solve tender problems

A quantity surveyor’s work is to estimate the cost of a construction project. We advise on project financials from start to finish to ensure that the project does not stall. Practising quantity surveyors are registered under the Institute of Quantity Surveyors of Kenya (IQSK), which is their professional body. I think it would be unfair to suggest that such problems are the fault of quantity surveyors. Read more

Firm unveils Sh22 billion real estate project in Kajiado

Cretum Properties on Tuesday launched a Sh22.7 billion real estate known as Green Isinya City.The office blocks, maisonettes, schools, high end eateries and police stations will sit on 1,000 acres in Kajiado County. The office blocks, maisonettes, schools, high end eateries and police stations will sit on 1,000 acres in Kajiado County. Read more

New gated estate to change the face of Nakuru

Located less than two kilometres from Nakuru Town and less than one kilometre from Lake Nakuru National Park, Kisulisuli estate is expected to be the first gated community in the cosmopolitan town. Construction of the estate is at the foundation level. Already, a perimeter wall with security lights, CCTV and razor wire are being erected around the five acre piece of land that borders the high-class Section 58 estate. Read more

Which way aspiring home owners?

If you asked a Kenyan adult whether he or she would prefer to buy a house or rent one, the answer would be obvious: buying a home is by far better than renting. The problem, however, is that not many people have the money to buy their dream homes. Renting has thus become the obvious option for about 80 per cent of Kenyan urban dwellers. Read more

Kakamega land prices triple in two years on growth

Land prices in Kakamega Town have tripled in the past two years due to growth as poor infrastructure frustrates more divergent expansion. An acre of land in the town is retailing at Sh7 million, up from Sh2 million two years ago, as subdivision pushes prices up, the county government says. Land dealers attribute the runaway prices to unrealistic fast growth caused by an influx of investors. Read more

Title issuance confusion bad for investors

The grandstanding between the National Land Commission (NLC) and the Lands ministry over issuance of title deeds and extension of leases could leave some investors counting losses running into billions of shillings. Recently, NLC Chairman Muhammad Swazuri said that title deeds issued without the commission’s blessing were deemed illegal. Read more

Taxman to invest in real estate to bridge Treasury funding shortfall

Kenya Revenue Authority plans to enter into real estate development sector, as the taxman seeks alternative resources to compliment government funding. Speaking before the finance and trade parliamentary committee, Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said this would make it possible for KRA to implement new initiatives aimed at enhancing tax compliance, which it currently cannot do, due to funds shortage. Read more

High demand leads to mix of high and lower income homes

Increasing demand for houses in the middle class segment is forcing developers to go for a mix of both high-end and middle level apartments to spread the risks. Developers are increasing the supply of middle level houses, which has remained low, with their preference previously being for high-end houses with huge returns. Read more

Planners feted for urban development

Kenyan urban planners doing exceptional work will be awarded every year in recognition of their effort. This follows the launch of the annual Town Award for Excellence to recognise and appreciate individual and corporate efforts in sustainable urban planning and development in Kenya. Read more

Create a garden without chaos

Nothing is more disconcerting than a garden that is a chaotic mishmash of all sorts of plants, ten different paving materials, and too many colours. Yet such is the hallmark of most of our gardens. The reason is simple: Most of us take to landscaping without a plan. A good garden is not a collection of all your favourite plants and garden decor. Rather, it is a product of carefully selected harmonious elements and consistent and comprehensible forms and colours. Read more

Needed urgently: National policy on quality of rental housing

In less than a month’s time, fresh graduates will add to the endless list of Kenya’s job seekers. This means the number of brown envelopes mailed to different human resource offices in the country will grow in thousands, even though a recent survey indicated that companies will only consider employing new staff after three months. Read more

Luxury homes market stable

The luxury homes market in Nairobi has reached a plateau with both rental and home prices recording little change over the last year. According to the Knight Frank Prime Global Cities Index, which tracks the movement of luxury residential prices across 33 cities, Nairobi saw a rise in prices of only 0.7 per cent between September 2013 and September 2014. Read more

Are developers ignoring housing needs of young adults?

A tour of the counties reveals that most new housing developments are three-bedroom and four-bedroom houses, built with the family unit in mind. In a country where 80 per cent are under 35 years, where will young adults, who have just started working and require smaller apartments, live? Where will the increasing student population from universities and colleges find housing? Read more

LSK offers to broker Ngilu, Swazuri row

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has offered to act as an intermediary in the tussle between Land secretary Charity Ngilu and the National Land Commission (NLC). The Supreme Court last week directed the commission and Ms Ngilu to hold talks within 90 days over differences in their mandate on land matters.  Read more

Wealthy Africans snap up property in London

The Russian bear is roaring less now in the prime London property market as the African lion takes over with rich Africans spending over 600 million (Sh86.4 billion) on real estate over the last three years. New research suggests that wealthy buyers from just six countries — Nigeria, Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Cameroon and Senegal — are snapping up luxury property in the city. Read more

Ex-NSSF chief’s 20-room home up for auction

A 20-roomed mansion owned by Alex Kazongo, the former managing trustee at the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), was Tuesday put up for auction. The prime property, which sits on 2.62 acres of land on Riat Hills in Kisumu, will be sold when the auctioneer’s hammer falls on November 21. Read more

More Housing Finance mortgage borrowers default

The number of people unable to service their mortgage loans with Housing Finance, the country’s leading mortgage lender, increased in the third quarter of this year. According to the firm’s financial results released last week, net non-performing loans increased to Sh3.39 billion up from Sh2.43 billion. Read more

Lack of respect for private property worrying

The tribulations of the family of Martin Steyn- the main shareholders in Nguruman Ranching Ltd on the boundary of Narok and Kajiado counties- are food for thought on where we are going in terms of maintaining an enabling environment for private investment.  Because the Steyn family is Caucasian, the invasion of the ranch resembles the invasion of white farms in Zimbabwe several years ago. Read more

Want a home loan? Here is the secret

Having seen the ups and downs of the printing business where you have to get big tenders to make a meaningful profit or suffer at the hands of public institutions which take long to pay, Simbiri decided to venture into the recycling business, which is slowly catching on in Kisumu. Read more

Nairobians to pay more for water after tariffs increase

The water services regulator has allowed the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) to increase consumer tariffs, setting the four million residents of the Kenyan capital on the path to paying more for the utility beginning January. The Water Services Regulatory Board (Wasreb) said on Friday it had given the NCWSC a conditional approval for the planned tariff increment after conducting month-long public consultations. Read more

Housing Finance rolls out Sh1bn project in Komarock

Housing Finance has broken ground for its sixth housing project in Komarock estate worth over Sh1 billion ahead of its fundraising through a rights issue. The mortgage financier is to build 115 four-bedroom maisonettes in the populous Eastlands estate and is already selling the houses off-plan at between Sh9.25 million and Sh10.5 million. Read more

Western’s new property hotspot

It is lunch time on a sunny Friday at Comrades Kula Corner at Kibabii market. The hotel, as its name suggests, is full of comrades from the new Kibabii University College. I meet the hotel proprietor, Aggrey Shamwama, a happy businessman who works at the university as a security officer. His new hotel is a beehive of activity, especially during lunch time and morning hours. Read more

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