Many Nairobi residents are ditching rented homes in city estates in favour of cheaper ones in the suburbs as the cost of living soars.
Realtor HassConsult said Tuesday that asking rents in the city have surged nearly threefold from 2007, pushing many to far-flung areas.
They have relocated to satellite towns like Ngong, Kitengela, Rongai, Ruai and Ruiru, which have also not been spared rising rents due to the influx of new customers.
“Asking rents for a modern apartment here may cost as little as Sh23,400 and this bodes well for many tenants who are now preferring affordable units as they take caution to save in the wake of job losses across all sectors,” Hass Consult head of development, consulting and research Sakina Hassanali said during the release of first quarter residential and land price indices.
She said the city residents would rather dig deeper into their pockets for transport and spend more time in longer commutes but get the cheaper homes. “As the cost of living soars, the lower middle class is opting to pay slightly more in transport but less in rents.” Several companies have announced thousands of job cuts in recent months.
The report says apartments in Thika recorded the highest annual growth in rents at 13.3 percent while Tigoni had the highest quarterly rate increase at 3.5 percent.
Kenya’s housing deficit is estimated at two million units, according to official estimates, though current production is only adding around 50,000 per year.
According to the World Bank besides addressing the housing gap, the government should provide incentives to developers to create affordable housing as stipulated in the Constitution of Kenya and the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Strategy.
“These blueprints have targeted the provision of 200,000 housing units annually for all income levels,” it says.
“However, the production of housing units is currently at less than 50,000 units annually, well below the target number.”