Sakina Hassanali, Head of Development Consulting and Research said Kitengela recorded the highest increase over the year at 10.71 percent while Ongata Rongai lead on a quarterly basis at 4.56 percent. [Wilberforce Okwiri/Standard]

House prices and rents dropped marginally last year in Nairobi and satellite towns.

A report by real estate firm HassConsult says rents dropped by 2.1 per cent while those in surrounding areas fell by 2.3 per cent over the course of 2019.

“Landlords are becoming less demanding, especially in areas where there is an oversupply of similar units,” said HassConsult Head of Development Consulting and Research Sakina Hassanali (pictured) while releasing the report yesterday.

However, if you owned a piece of land in Kitengela and chose to trade it off last year, then it is likely you raked in substantial profit.

The Hass Property Index report for the last quarter of 2019 indicates that land prices in Kitengela increased by 10.71 per cent.

Upmarket Riverside, on the other hand, recorded a 9.24 per cent drop in the same period.

House prices in Nairobi’s satellite towns recorded a drop of 0.5 per cent, the first dip recorded by the firm since 2008.

This was attributed to the tough economic times that the country experienced in the year as people were only able to buy at lower prices.

“The fall in prices in the satellite towns shows that investors are holding off buying decisions, which is a defensive strategy taken when there is economic uncertainty. This can change if the situation improves going forward,” said Ms Hassanali.

In spite of the 3.5 per cent drop in the prices of all property in 2019, Hassanali expressed optimism in the real estate market, citing more liquidity in 2020 and positive trends in the first weeks of January.

She said the perception that Kenya’s real estate sector was in a meltdown was exaggerated, with the slowdown experienced as a result of global recession that had affected every country.

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