Why it is expensive to live in Nairobi

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Major towns in the outskirts of Nairobi City continue to experience a rising rental trend, according to latest report by Ritz Housing and Properties Limited.

The towns which include, Thika, Ruiru, Ongata Rongai, Ruaka and Kitengela, saw an average rental increase of 2.1 per cent on the lower side and up to 26.5 per cent on higher side, between quarter three of 2018 and same quarter in 2019.

The report covers between one bedroom to three bedroomed units.

Commenting on the report, Ritz Housing and Properties Managing Director Samuel Mathenge, attributes the rising rentals trend in these Nairobi metropolitan towns to various factors including, high walkability score, good access to public transport and the high number of open businesses.

In Kitengela, the monthly median rental price for a one-bedroomed house stood at Ksh15,000 ($144.8) an increase of 8.45 per cent between the third quarter of 2018 and 2019. The monthly cost of two-bedroom house stood at approximately Ksh25,000 ($241.38) an increase of 10 per cent while three- bedroom house cost went up by approximately 5.40 per cent to an average monthly median rental price of Ksh39,000 ($376.56).

“The level of income of Kitengela residents does not support mortgaging thus making them opt to rent. Also, due to the rise of living standards, the number of rentals is on the raise thus making the market trend of Kitengela favourable, “Mr. Mathenge said.

“The rise in population requires increase in housing thus growth of rental market in Kitengela,” he added.

In Ongata Rongai, the monthly mean price of a one-bedroom rental stood at Ksh9,500 ($91.73). This was an increase of 2.15 per cent between quarter three of 2018 quarter and same quarter 2019. For a Two-bedroom house, the mean monthly rental price was approximately Kshs22,000 a 4.56 per cent increase, while a three-bedroom house rent stood at Ksh35,000 ($337.93), a 2.941 per cent increase compared to the same quarter previous year.

In Thika Town, the monthly mean rental price for a one-bedroom house stood at Kshs15,000 ($144.8) which was a 25 per cent increase between the third quarter of 2018 and 2019. In the two-bedroomed rentals the monthly mean rental price was approximately Ksh21,000 ($202.95), an increase of 5 per cent compared to the previous quarter of 2017. While the three-bedroom rental prices stood at approximately Ksh35,000 ($337.93), a 2.94 per cent increase.

“Thika Town experienced a relatively steady rental price growth between July 2018 and July 2019, a rate slightly below other satellite towns within the Nairobi Metropolitan area, “Mr Mathenge noted.

In Ruiru, the monthly mean rental price for a one-bedroom house stood at Ksh12,000 ($115.97). This was a 9.09 per cent increase between the July quater of 2018 and 2019. In the two-bedroom, the prices stood at approximately Ksh18,000 ($173.96) which was an increase of 5.88 per cent compared to the previous quater of 2018. On the other hand, the three-bedroom rent stood at approximately Ksh30,000 ($289.93), an increase of 15.38 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

Last and not the least was Ruaka, where the monthly mean price of a one-bedroom rental stood at Ksh24,000 ($231.95) which was an increase of 10.0 per cent between the third 2018 quarter and 2019. In two-bedroom rentals in Ruaka, the mean monthly rental price stood at approximately Ksh34,000 ($328.59). This was an increase in 5.00 per cent compared to the previous quarter. The three bedroom houses rentals on the other hand stood at Ksh48,000 ($463.89) which was an increase of 2.13 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

Also Read: Nairobi faces hotel influx as prices drop

Yvonne Kawira is an award winning journalist with an interest in matters, regional trade, tourism, entrepreneurship and aviation. She has been practicing for six years and has a degree in mass communication from St Paul’s University.

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