Real Estate Moment: TJRC, Homes Expo, Bubbles or Boom

TJRC: Two weeks ago, Kenya’s Truth Justice & Reconciliation Commission handed its completed TJRC Report to the President concluding three years of work in which the committee set out to document violations of human rights, abuse of power and misuse of public office since Independence and look at solutions that may be beyond the reach of the judicial system to addresses and restore.

They collected over 42,000 statements around the country and, at 41%, land and property issues topped their list of violations, far ahead of the next four issues (extra judicial killings, serious injury, persecution, torture) combined.

Homes Expo: The Homes Expo took place in Nairobi last week and some properties and exhibitors at the Expo included:

– AMS Properties has Five Star Gardens on Mombasa road with 2 and 3 BR apartments for  Kshs 5M and 7M respectively.
– Bluebell have 3BR apartments in Kileleshwa and Westlands for Kshs 18.5M and Kshs 24.5M  respectively
– The Cullinan will be full service apartments coming up next to Casabalanca in Kilimani/Yaya area and will have 1 bedroom apartments that range from Kshs 10M for 1 bedroom to Kshs 22M for 3BR ones
–  Imara Gardens on Mombasa Road have 2 and 3BR apartments at Kshs 6.8M and Kshs 7.8M respectively.
– Legacy Apartments being sold by Hass Consult are studio, 1 and 2 BR apartments on Naivasha road (minutes from the Junction Mall ) for Kshs 3.5M, 5M and 7.25M respectively ($85,300) 
– Peony Estate by Gao Yu comprise 100 homes with apartments that cost Kshs 17 million ($200,000) and Penthouses  for Kshs 30M in Lavington
– Victoria Villas are 4 BR houses in Kisumu for Kshs 10.5M

– Diani Homes have properties in Mombasa, Lamu, and Diani
– The Kenya Ministry of Lands has constructed 600 3BR apartments in Kibera – Soweto East 
– Anza and Pam Golding Properties (with an app in the android store) enable property sellers to show 360 view of their properties online for interested buyers. This eliminates an inconvenience when showing a proprty that is currently occupied by tenants
– Also at the expo were supermarkets like Tuskys and Nakumatt offering home furnishings and other companies like LG who displayed their Kshs 1.8 million 3D TV 
Financiers at the expo included
– Barclays has a 15.9% fixed rate mortgage for the first three years and maximum mortgage durations of 20 years. So a Kshs 10M ($120,841) mortgage attracts repayments of Kshs 138,000 ($1,662) per month
– CBA has 25 year mortgages in shillings, US dollars, Euros and Sterling Pounds
– Co-Op Bank has good home mortgages that range between 12.75% to 14.75%
– Family Bank has mortgages as low as Kshs 1M ($12,048)
– I&M mortgages are at 16%
– KCB give mortgages of up to 25 years for home buyers, while those for investments are up to 20 years. Real estate developers get finance for up to 2 years with 85% finance and investment groups get up to 19 years with 80% financed – all with loan rates starting from 13.5% up
– National Housing Corporation has 13% to individuals   
Standard Chartered has 14.9% mortgages and finance properties up to Kshs 100M ($1.2 million) and these are also available to expatriates and non-residents –e.g. to own a holiday or investment home

Other Real Estate Blogs

– Contrarian Kenyan advises why you should invest in REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts) rather than in empty plots on the highway  as they offer better liquidity and diversity, but with less bureaucracy. 

– George Adulu  looks at common dilemma of many people who are paying rent in a house, but take mortgage land to build a home by borrowing to buy a plot of land to develop at some point in the future

– He also looks at the  buy to let  prospect of buying a property to rent out for income, but notes that, with the high interest rates, it only makes sense if you put down a sizable down payment, not the 10% that mortgage companies tease with. Also  if you are thinking about a property for purely rent income, then forget about the suburbs, instead head to densely populated parts of Nairobi and other urban centers. You will be shocked to know that hose single roomed units in those multi-storied buildings in Umoja, Dandora, Kayole, Embakasi and so on have a repayment period of less than 10 years.

Other Real Estate News

– Bad Debts : The construction, building and real estate sectors topped the list of sectors with biggest loan defaults in the first quarter of the year.
– Construction Jobs: The construction sector generated new jobs at the fastest pace in the five-year period to 2012. 
– Listed Property Company? Home Afrika plans to list on the Growth Enterprise Market Segment (GEMS) at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The firm, with 128 shareholders, has projects under construction valued at over Kshs 12 billion such as Migaa (golf estate in Kiambu) Lakeview Heights (Kisumu), Llangwe (Kwale) and Kikwetu (Machakos) financed through shareholder funds and loans
– Succession:The Delamere Family is subdividing a Naivasha Estate as part of a succession plan involving grandsons of the settler farmer. 
– Unaffordable Homes: Owning a home in Kenya has become harder owing to the cost of finance. Still ccommercial banks had Kshs 122.2 billion ($1.5 billion) worth of home loans held in 19,177 accounts. (19,000 mortgages in Kenya)


The Kenya Banker’s Assocation CEO Chat series in May 2013  featured (PDF) Barclays Kenya CEO Jeremy Awori, and it focused on mortgages (PDF) 

Strathmore University has a course on Construction Project Management in June and another for Real Estate executives in July 2013.