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Kenya’s property property prices dipped by 1.8 per cent in the three months to September while asking rents also plunged by 0.3 per cent with property prices and rents for apartments taking the heaviest hit, according to the latest report by Hass Property Index.
“Lack of clarity on the electoral process has frozen activity across all property segments as investors put on hold decisions pending conclusion of the process,” said Sakina Hassanali, Hass head of Development Consulting and Research.
Real estate and property market is holding its breath ahead of expected Thursday presidential repeat poll, in what industry observers believe would determine the market’s future bearing following weeks of a wait-and-see approach from buyers following the annulment of August 8 polls by The Supreme Court last month.
“We saw activity pick up from mid-August as buyers who had held off on purchasing decisions came back to the market but the current uncertainty moved sales momentum back to the pre-election period,” said Ms. Hassanali yesterday.
The report uniquely blames the current political quagmire whose impacts has equally effected land prices. The political gridlock, is feared could have worse implications to the industry in the next quarter review.
“Buyers are sensitive to risks associated with political process and are therefore unlikely to make decisions until there is an end to this period. The stalemate has negatively had an impact land prices in the Nairobi’s 14 satellite suburbs,” the report said.
Land prices for the review period declined by 1.7 per cent in asking prices in all Nairobi’s 14 satellite suburbs, ‘driven by cautionary approach by investors as they await direction on new land policies by new county governments.’
One of the worst affected a result of such a move is Kiambu County whose satellite towns like Ruiru recorded sale price drops in land prices which was attributed to the effect of an earlier proposal on land use control by the previous administration.
Kiambu County had in June this year in partnership with foreign development agencies announced a new plan to regulate land use to boost food security.