“There is a huge demand for plots. When we floated the plots for sale at the Juja South Estate, with an offer price of between Sh.1m and Sh1.5 million, we sold 114 plots in record time. This means that the market is there and has enabled us to move swiftly into the next phase of construction. We are about to put in the market Sunset Park Estate for another set of plots.” says Githu.
The plot prices vary depending on the proximity from the super highway. Commercial plots cost anywhere between Sh2 and Sh4 million per eighth of an acre. This means an acre of land for commercial use in such an area costs between Sh16million to almost Sh32million.
According to Gideon Kamau, a landowner, the reason for this high price is that most of these plots are off the super highway. In addition, there is lucrative demand for accommodation facilities by the students at JKUAT and its staff.
“I am selling off plots to buyers who can build four to five-storeyed flats or even a storey of bedsitters for student’s accommodation. My main selling point is the proximity of the highway and JKUAT,” says Kamau.
Mwangi adds that the scramble for space has intensified with former coffee farms, ranch and sisal farms, abandoned for making losses, are now making fortunes as real estate investors jostle for investment opportunities along the highway.
“Coupled with these is the demand for social amenities — like schools, shopping malls and hospitals — which investors are turning to, hoping to cash in on the new liquid investors and the middle class,” says Mwangi.
The high price of land may bring about the proliferation of more unplanned settlements within Juja and it is a critical social challenge that players in the real estate industry cannot overlook. In the meantime, gated estates are adding glamour to this once dull township.