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ELECTIONS EFFECT: Real estate market slowdown expected

By Ferdinand Mwongela | Published Thu, December 22nd 2016 at 10:27, Updated December 22nd 2016 at 10:29 GMT +3

This year has been a busy one for the real estate industry, with projects worth billions of shillings launched or completed.  Milestones included the signing of a multi-billion shilling deal between local firm Suraya Property Group, the Government of Kenya and CAD-Fund for the construction of 20,000 houses.

Not to forget the rate-capping step that sent banks back to the drawing board. Many are optimistic that the cap on interest rates charged by lenders will eventually see a change in the approach to mortgages and housing.

2017 also promises to be a busy year, albeit for different reasons. The biggest being that it is an election year. Analysts, while optimistic about the future of the local real estate and construction sector, expect that there will be a marked slow down of new projects being launched before the General Election. The focus for the first eight months of the year will mostly be on ongoing projects that will be coming online.

However, many believe that this wait and see approach will change after the polls with developers getting back to the businesses of construction and launching new projects.

This is informed by past occurrences, locally and globally. The high political tempo in the run-up to the 2013 General Election created uncertainty that caused a slowdown in almost all sectors of the economy, including the building and construction sector. The UK property market also saw an uncertain time around the threats or opportunities, posed by Brexit and is only now coming back up to speed. The same scenario is seen in the US with many still unsure what the ascension of a property developer to the White House will have on the real estate front.

It is expected that an election period will have a slowdown effect on the market, but it is expected to pick up immediately thereafter.

From us here at Home & Away, we wish our readers a Merry Christmas.