Land prices in Nairobi dip by 27 per cent

A section of Nairobi’s skyline. The price of land is said to be self-correcting. [David Njaaga, Standard].

Land and property prices in Nairobi and its environs are ‘self-correcting due to market forces with a new report revealing a drop of up to 27 per cent.

A recent Macro Strategy Report published by EFG Hermes, a financial service company, which analysed land prices in the high-end market segment, upper-middle and satellite towns found that the pricing was significantly lower in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the past four years.

It notes that prices of residential and commercial property in Nairobi’s satellite towns have dipped since quarter four of 2019. “Could this represent the early signs of a deeper correction in high-end property prices?” posed the report.

The report says the property market in the country is overvalued, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic has seen distressed properties sale for less than their initial valuation.

The survey notes that the current land prices in the high-end segment are significantly lower than their peak levels over the past four years. “Notably, Quarter One (Q1) of 2021 land prices in Runda were 27 per cent below their recent peaks in Q4 of 2017,” reads the report in part.

“In the middle-income segment, current land prices are also lower than their peak levels over the past four years, but not by as much as the high-end segment.”

Prices in Runda have dropped way below the initial prices in Q4 of 2014. The report notes that while current land prices in Parklands and Westlands have changed from their peak levels over the past four years, current land prices in Upper Hill - Nairobi’s most expensive suburb are 13 per cent below their peaks in Q4 2017.

“Donholm stands out within the other segment for being the only suburb that has continued to see its land prices materially appreciate since Q4 2017,” noted the survey.

The report says on the performance of suburb land prices in Nairobi, between Q4 2017 and Q1 of 2021 all have underperformed the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is 20 per cent.

“This has to be concerning for the outlook of the property market in Nairobi’s suburbs,” it reads.

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