Property experts predict booming market in 2022

Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 00:00 | By
Housing construction.

Kenya’s housing and property market is expected to pick this year after a relatively successful 2021 as the sector continues to recover from Covid-19 shocks. 

Latest trends suggest that the gradual uptick in mortgage rates seen last year combined with the growing appetite among millennials keen to own a home, could see housing sales soar in the New Year with rental prices also expected to rise.

George Mburu, a property developer who runs Mizizi Homes, said the improving economic dynamics will also be a strong motivator for many hopeful first-time buyers.

“It is a combination of various factors. Firstly, a look at the improving economy, one will clearly see opportunities in that sector and it is a trend we are likely to see carry on despite the looming General Elections,” he said in a telephone interview yesterday.

On the whole, Mburu predicted that the housing market will remain highly competitive this year, but buyers will devise new ways to confront the prevailing challenges such as the elections and new Covid-19 variants.

“I think most players in the industry took in a lot of vital lessons since the pandemic hit and surely we have learnt greatly from that experience,” he reckons.

Peter Macharia, an economist, expects the housing affordability to remain a key issue this year as the country’s rental market tries to stabilise from lingering pandemic and housing stock challenges, a factor he says could see rental prices go up with most companies now re-hiring and up-scaling their operations.

Property deals

“Based on our evaluation in the last quarter of 2021, we can predict a busy year for property deals and with most people now back to work, I see a population that can now afford better living standards and who will be keen to pick and choose where to stay – this ordinarily comes at a cost, more rent,” he adds.

Macharia’s sentiments are backed by the recent survey on Kenya’s private sector which represented a consistent growth last year with companies’ activities rising sharply midway through the final quarter of last year.

Stanbic Bank Kenya Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) Survey showed that the rate of growth accelerated for larger parts of 2021, with firms reporting higher sales on an increase in customer numbers that was often linked to the removal of curfew hours.

The month of November for instance, saw output and new orders rise solidly with businesses returning to profitability after months of indecisions that had been hampered by the Coronavirus pandemic.

Kuria Kamau, Fixed Income and Currency Strategist at Stanbic Bank said business activity in November expanded at the fastest rate in 10 months following the lifting of the 10pm to 4am curfew. 

“Domestic demand increased rapidly in response to the lifting of the curfew, with the main beneficiaries being firms in services, trade and construction,” he said during the report’s release in December.

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