Property investors root for incentives to develop counties

By Philip Mwakio

Property investors want the Government to come up with friendly policies to unlock real estate investments in the 47 counties.

They also they want idle land opnend up for development. Ark Consultants Director Reginald Okumu said about 70 per cent of land in the country belongs to Government.

Religious and NGOs hold close to 15 per cent. This pose hurdles for investors willing to invest in the counties.

 “With the opening up of the counties, there is huge demand for offices, house for staff taking up jobs in the counties and residential houses for those who view the county as the next investment hub,” said Okumu.

“Lack of land for development will limit growth of real estate in the county If nothing is done to solve the problem.”  He was speaking at the official opening of The 11th Property and Home Living Expo 2013, at the Sarit Centre.

The exhibition, which focuses on real estate opportunities and development in counties, is expected to attract devolved units and property investors.  Jawad Jaffer, the event organiser observed that land remains a challenge property investors — which has led to high cost of housing.

“For a 300,000 national housing units demand to be met with a supply of 50,000 units, you expect land resource to shoot up,” he said.

  “The Government has the answer to the housing problem. It should avail land and other incentives to the market.” 

Citing the recent investor developments in Machakos and Homa Bay counties, property investors  have also asked county governments to help developers access land through partnerships. “There is need for County Governments to also up  incentives that will encourage developers to move to other major towns apart from Nairobi. “For example, the Government has come up with a way where all those who have industries outside Nairobi import equipment from outside tax free,” said Okumu.

The exhibition will showcase top notch commercial, residential and holiday home investments from Kisumu, Eldoret, Mombasa, Nakuru, Kajiado, Kiambu, Voi, Malindi counties.

They include  English Point Marina at Fort Jesus and Acacia Holiday Homes in the Tsavo, Migaa’s Mitini Scapes in Kiambu and Llango in Malindi.

 Others are  Kikwetu in Athi River, The Longonot Gate City,  and Kisumu’s Sh1.6 billion Translakes Estate.

The exhibition comes at a time when the Ministry of Planning and Devolution reported a 4.8 per cent increase in 2012 up from 4.3 per cent in 2011.

The total value of new private and public buildings completed going up by 9.6 per cent from Sh.46.4 billion in 2011 to Sh50.8 billion in 2012.

Ben Woodhams, Managing Director of Knight Frank Kenya said the four-day exhibition will be a good for its niched high end audience.


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