The Star (Nairobi)

12 December 2012

Kenya: What High-End Tenants Are Paying in Nairobi

The high-end rental market in Nairobi remained vibrant in the first six months of the year, with demand particularly high in gated compounds.

A Knight Frank lettings report released in July attributed this to the sense of "communal security and shared facilities."

"Apartment accommodation is still perceived to be the most secure arrangement in view for the 'lock-up-and-go' travelling tenants," said Knight Frank in the report.

Rents went up in the northern suburbs near the UN complex Gigiri, US Embassy, diplomatic missions and top NGOs which have large numbers of expatriates.

Blue chip firms with headquarters in Westlands and Gigiri areas are also among key drivers of demand in the high-end rental market, particularly for serviced and furnished accommodation within a 5km radius the south-west quadrant of the CBD.

"We have recorded annual rental growths of approximately 10 per cent and 20 per cent in high-end gated compounds and apartments respectively," said Knight Frank.

Rental prices for town-houses in the high-end market range between $3,500 (Sh301,000) - $4,400 (Sh378,400) per month, excluding 16 per cent VAT, according to the report. Luxury three- and four-bedroom apartments are being let at between $2,940 (Sh252,840) and $3,530 (Sh303,580) per month, excluding VAT.

Realcom, a real estate agent with a grip on the high-end market as well, is letting a 41-room block of apartments at $25,000 (Sh2.15 million) in Upper Hill area, sitting on an acre of prime land.

The property agent says on its website that the block is "especially ideal for corporates that can offer there (sic) executives a homely stay, a business venue (or) yet, provide an income when not in use (by the owner)."

The house can be accessed from both 2nd and 3rd Ngong Avenues. It touts ready internet connectivity as a value-add.

In its portfolio of high-end rentals, Realcom also has stand-alone houses letting for as much as $3,840 (Sh330,000) per month in Karen and apartments for $3,500 (Sh301,000) in Westlands.

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