The Cost of Affordable Housing in Kenya.

Affordable Housing in Kenya is one major challenge for its citizens. The cost of purchasing a home is so high that for many Kenyans, owning a home seems like an unachievable dream.

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This article summarises a “Full Circle with Joyce” episode. Joyce hosted two experts in the property industry, Joel and Robert, to discuss the challenges Kenyans face when it comes to affordable housing. At the end of this article, we share Three Key Takeaways and FAQs.

“Full Circle with Joyce” was a Kenyan talk show hosted by Joyce Omondi, a popular Kenyan TV host and gospel musician. This show focused on Kenya’s current affairs, relationships, and lifestyle issues. Its YouTube channel features interviews with Kenyan celebrities, experts, and influencers.

Understanding the Factors Driving High Prices.

Joel, who works in the property industry, identified three main reasons for the high cost of housing in Kenya:

  1. Construction cost is around 30-40% higher than in other countries.
  2. Long title transfer process from the seller to the buyer via the developer, thus incurring more costs.
  3. Additional costs to urban land as developers cater for other infrastructure costs such as roads, sanitation and water.
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The two experts discuss how corruption and lack of government involvement in infrastructure further exacerbate the issue.

Costs Associated with Professionals When Purchasing A Property.

Robert, an advocate, advises all to be cautious when purchasing a property. One of the biggest mistakes people make is rushing into a purchase without seeking legal advice.

People are often in a hurry to buy property, especially when told that the offer will expire if they do not give a deposit immediately.

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Many buyers try to avoid the expense of hiring a lawyer and hence prepare documents themselves, but this can lead to costly mistakes.

Joel explained other additional costs associated with professionals involved in the construction process. For example,

  • there may be a broker between the buyer and the supplier of materials.
  • cost of electricity can be high if people do not follow the process of hiring a qualified electrician.

Buying Property

Despite the challenges, there are other options for those purchasing a home in Kenya:

Off-Plan option

Buying Off-Plan means purchasing a property before its completion.

However, there have been issues with this option, and buyers should seek legal advice and ensure that the developer is reputable.

Gideon’s Take

As an expert in the property industry, I believe understanding the challenges and opportunities in affordable housing is crucial for all looking to purchase a home in Kenya.

picture of Acre's Real Estate Agent, Gideon.

This video provides valuable insights and information on why housing in Kenya is so expensive and how to make it more affordable for Kenyans.

Owning a home in Kenya is a dream for many, but the high cost of housing is a huge obstacle.

People looking to buy a property should be cautious and seek legal advice to avoid costly mistakes. Even with the buying off-plan option, buyers should research and know the risks involved.

Three Key Takeaways:

  1. The cost of construction, the lengthy and expensive titling process, and the high urban land costs contribute to the high cost of housing in Kenya.
  2. Corruption and lack of government involvement in infrastructure further exacerbate the issue.
  3. Off-plan buying can be risky as developers may not deliver on promises or buyers not receive titles.

My Personal Opinion

As a Real Estate Content Creator, I believe the high cost of affordable housing in Kenya is a multifaceted issue because of 

  • high cost of land (a fundamental input in the construction of affordable housing units).
  • high cost of building materials (lately exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic).
  • lack of affordable financing options for low-income earners.

Ways to Provide Affordable Housing to All Kenyans.

The government can play a critical role in addressing these issues by:

Affordable Housing Kenya
  • promoting the production of affordable building materials.
  • creating and implementing policies that encourage the efficient use of land.

While the government has introduced several policies to address this issue, there is a need for more private-sector involvement by providing innovative financing solutions.

In conclusion, addressing the high cost of affordable housing in Kenya requires a collective effort from both the public and private sectors.


Why is housing in Kenya so expensive?

Housing in Kenya is expensive due to the high construction cost, the lengthy titling process, and the high urban land cost.

How does corruption exacerbate the issue of expensive housing in Kenya?

Corruption in the titling process and lack of government involvement in infrastructure development increase the housing costs in Kenya.

What is off-plan housing, and why can it be risky?

Off-plan housing refers to properties on sale before construction is complete. It can be risky due to developers not delivering on promises and buyers not receiving titles.

What should I consider when purchasing a property in Kenya?

When purchasing a property in Kenya, your first step is to do your research, work with trusted experts, and follow all legal processes.

Can the Kenyan government do more to make housing more affordable?

Yes. The Kenyan government can do more to make housing more affordable by investing in infrastructure development, reducing corruption, and creating policies that support the efficient use of land.


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