This report focuses on the real estate industry which comprises commercial, industrial and residential properties, as well as property development and property valuation. The report includes information on the size and state of the sector, economic conditions, regulations, government initiatives and other influencing factors. There are profiles of 21 companies including real estate investment trust manager, Stanlib’s ILAM Fahari i-Reit, other Nairobi-listed companies Centum Real Estate and Home Afrika and agents including Pam Golding and Knight Frank.
Real Estate Activities in Kenya
The real estate sector contributed almost 7% of Kenya’s GDP in 2019. There were 434 registered estate agents in March 2020, the same as in 2019, and an estimated 40,000 unregistered agents. The majority of players are privately-owned estate agencies and property developers, and there are a number of international companies operating in the country.
The Kenyan government’s affordable housing initiative is viewed as an opportunity for property developers to diversity, as the commercial and high-end residential property markets are cooling down due to oversupply and constrained consumer spending. The government had aimed for 500,000 new affordable homes by the end of 2022 and provided funding, tax incentives and exemption from stamp duty for transfers. The initiative is, however, hampered by a lack of funding and court cases against a national housing development levy.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a collapse in property sales as people are not viewing properties for sale, and transaction volumes are expected to decline in 2020. The housing market in Kenya is primarily a rental market. Affordability is a major constraint to the growth of the housing and mortgage markets, and a key challenge to accessing decent housing. As a result, only about 20% of Kenyans living in urban areas own the homes they live in.