Kenya: Office Occupiers in Nairobi Still Calling Shots as Prime Rents Remain Under Pressure

Nairobi — The Nairobi office market performance remains under pressure owing to the lockdown restrictions imposed towards the end of the first quarter of the year, which impacted negatively on market activity.

This is according to Anthony Havelock, Head of Agency, Knight Frank Kenya who says there remains an oversupply of commercial space in most districts across the city.

Havelock adds that this, together with the slowly recovering economy and working from home dynamic, has given occupiers the upper hand in lease term negotiations and forced landlords as well as developers to be more flexible.

The Head of Agency however noted that as the global vaccination against COVID-19 rate increases and with some lockdown measures improving, there have been multinational occupiers looking to re-occupy their spaces and relook at their strategies which in turn is leading to increased market activity.

"There remains an oversupply of commercial space in most districts across the city which together with the slowly recovering economy and working from home dynamic has given occupiers the upper hand in lease term negotiations and forced landlords/developers to be more flexible," he said.

Havelock was commenting on Knight Frank's inaugural Africa Office Market Dashboard for Q1 2021 report.

Overall, the report reveals that African cities have seen diminished office demand, exacerbated by the economic fallout as a result of the pandemic

According to Knight Frank's 28-city composite index, which tracks office rental performance in some of Africa's most prominent cities, prime office rents remained stable during Q1 2021.

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