Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua on Thursday directed the demolitions of property be stopped immediately until further notice.
“It is notified for the General Information of the Public that the Government has forthwith directed the immediate suspension of all demolition of properties in all parts of the Country until further notice,” Mr Kinyua said in a short statement.
“Further guidance will be issued following consultations with all relevant State agencies and stakeholders.”
In August, the government begun the process of bringing down about 1,437 condemned residential buildings based on audit reports by the National Buildings Chief Quantity Surveyor Inspectorate.
Buildings that have been demolished so far include South End Mall, part of Ukay Centre and Oshwal Centre,Grand Manor hotel in Gigiri, and AirGate Mall (formerly Taj Mall).
Kfir Rusin, host of Kenya’s East Africa Property Investment (EAPI) says “The reality is that the cost of real estate transactions remains too high in East Africa and this is inhibiting the growth of the sector. To restore real estate as a significant driver of sustainable growth, we have to reduce the input costs of building and deepen the available sources of funding; especially as we build the foundation for more affordable housing in Kenya and East Africa.”
Kenya’s real estate market has been relatively quiet in Africa over the 12-18 months, as a result of macroeconomic pressures, oversupply and lack of effective product tailoring, Rusin argues that this cooling down period has allowed for market recalibration and more attractive pricing.
“In our global environment, capital is agnostic, and while Africa and Kenya’s property sector have been recalibrating, several investors, private and institutional are of the view that certain markets and asset classes provide attractive and stable yields.
Next year is shaping up to be a defining year for Kenya’s real estate market, and we believe that EAPI will provide the transaction fulcrum for investors and developers across the real estate ecosystem,” said Rusin.