Westlands rise ups value of neighbouring suburbs

An aerial view of Westlands suburb. [File, Standard]

Westlands' sustained rise as a commercial and entertainment hub led to neighbouring suburbs' attractiveness, thus appreciation in land prices.

This is even as the average prices of land in Nairobi's suburbs remained static with a 0.2 per cent growth over the last quarter of 2022.

HassConsult, in the Hass Land Price Indices for the fourth quarter of 2022, termed the performance "lacklustre" and attributed it to "the spillover effect from the previous quarter when activity generally slowed down across the general economy".

But Westlands' increasing commercialisation bucked the trend, creating a ripple effect that benefited many neighbouring suburbs, said Sakina Hassanali, Head of Development Consulting and Research at HassConsult (pictured).

"The recent rise of Westlands as the city's premium commercial and entertainment hub has drawn more interest to its surrounding suburbs, creating more value in these quiet neighbourhoods that provide quick access to Westlands working zones as well as services for shopping and recreation," said Ms Hassanali.

Loresho was the best-performing suburb over the quarter with prices increasing by 3.2 per cent while Spring Valley topped annually with a 14.64 per cent price appreciation, HassConsult said. Upperhill, at -3.3 per cent, had the worst annual score.

"Investors with insufficient funds to afford Spring Valley at Sh220 million per acre are absorbed by Loresho's lower priced price of Sh95.5 million per acre," Ms Hassanali said. She noted that this trend presents a window of opportunity for prospective buyers who want to live close to a high-end commercial hub.

Land prices in satellite towns continued to be static over the quarter, registering a 0.97 per cent growth. As was the case in the city, low economic activity affected the town land markets' performance over the last three months of 2022.

In the Kiambu County towns, Limuru posted the strongest quarterly growth at 4.2 per cent as the town's attractiveness is being enhanced "because it is still relatively undeveloped compared to its peers".

"Limuru is currently less developed than other towns in Kiambu County and as a result, is being seen as the next development frontier, offering uniquely green experiences that characterise the area," said Ms Hassanali.

"Additionally, the area is attracting speculators on account of the resumed plans to construct the Rironi-Mau Summit Road."

Syokimau had the best annual performance among satellite towns, with 17.5 per cent annual change, with Limuru's - three per cent the worst in the year.