Kenya: Rent Prices in Nairobi Drop in Second-Quarter Owing to Covid-19 Shocks

Pandemic restrictions have emptied Nairobi streets of the usual traffic (file photo).
13 August 2020

Nairobi — Rent prices in Nairobi dropped in the second quarter of 2020, new data has revealed.

The data released by Hass consult reveals that rent prices dropped by 0.2 percent in the period under review owing to the coronavirus pandemic that has affected most parts of the general economy.

According to Hass consult, 47 percent of the tenants surveyed asked their landlords for rent discounts of between 25 and 30 percent, reflecting how many are not spared by the pandemic wrath.

"COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of many industries across the economy and thereby reducing incomes of business owners and employees who are in turn exerting pressure on landlords to reduce rents," said Head of Development Consulting and Research at HassConsult Sakina Hassanali.

In the period under review, Donholm area registered the biggest quarterly drop in rents for houses at 4.8 percent while Parklands saw its apartments rents up by 2.4 percent over the quarter and 7.1 percent over the year.

In the satellite towns Mlolongo led with its apartment prices falling by 2.6 percent over the quarter and 9.8 over the year while Kiserian and Thika saw gains of 6.7 per cent and 10 percent over the quarter and year respectively.

Apartments similarly recorded the strongest growth in rents at 2.2 percent against the overall property rents slight drop of 0.3 per cent.

On the sales front HassConsult notes that prices have remained relatively flat as developers and other sellers avoid generous discounts on properties or increasing prices as they wait to see how the economy will perform once it is fully reopened.

"This is the first full quarter under COVID-19 showcasing the property market under the government's strictest social distancing measures which have since been eased. Property prices remain stable as most sellers, presumably those without any urgent cash flow requirements, are avoiding making rash decisions that will cost them in the long run," Hassanali added.

Houses in Muthaiga recorded the highest asking prices over the quarter at 3.6 percent while Riverside recorded the lowest drop with apartment prices marginally reducing by 2.6 percent.

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