The main market trends in the real estate sector in Kenya have been as follows:
- The Government of Kenya is working towards providing affordable housing for its citizens. This has been necessitated by the housing deficit that has been brought about as a result of the mushrooming populations in urban areas due to rural-to-urban migration. In order to achieve this, the Government has proposed the establishment of a housing fund into which employees will be make mandatory monthly contributions. The affordable housing framework requires a developer to build houses priced at a maximum of KES3 million (USD30,000), with the Government guaranteeing offtake in three years.
- There has been an emergence of master-planned communities in Kenya through the creation of alternative cities – mixed-use developments such as Tatu City, Infinity and Tilisi that have arisen as a result of development in other cities. These alternative cities are built with a focus on the principles 'live, work and play'; they include industrial, commercial, retail and residential development as well as schools, hospitals and recreational facilities.
- Devolution, which was introduced in 2010, has also changed the real estate sector significantly. This is because unlike under the previous regime in which Kenya only had a centralised government, leading to concentrated real estate development in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and a few other large towns, real estate developers now have a choice of 47 alternatives (ie, the county government headquarters) in which to venture.
- In order to reduce operating costs and provide a safe and healthy environment for workers, developers have been employing green building technology. This has proved to increase employee productivity. Green building entails the creation of structures that have low environmental impact throughout their life cycle, encompassing their design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and demolition.
The most significant deals in real estate in Kenya have been Tatu City, Tilisi Development and Konza City.