Upper Hill house, land prices plunge sharpest
Upper Hill recorded the fastest drop in property and land prices among Nairobi suburbs in 2022, extending the dwindling fortunes of the location that hosts the once most sought-after properties and parcels of land in the city.
The Hass Property Index released yesterday shows apartment sales prices in Nairobi’s suburbs fell sharpest in Upper Hill by 10.3 percent in 2022 while rental prices also dropped fastest by 8.3 percent.
This underlines the declining allure of the elevated area that had witnessed immense growth that saw local big firms in banking, insurance, the public sector, and multinationals flock to build their headquarters there.
The rapid growth of Upper Hill, however, came with the major downside of congestion with constant traffic gridlock in the area and other factors contributing to the flight of some large corporates from the area.
Soft drinks manufacturer Coca-Cola and European Union Delegation for Kenya are among the major corporates that have relocated from Upper Hill in recent years.
Sakina Hassanali, head of development consulting and research at HassConsult said the Covid-19 pandemic had heavily hit Upper Hill, which already had a surplus of commercial space and reduced development appetite, and caused stagnation of pricing.
“Post-Covid-19, a lot of companies have work-from-home options for staff and so expansion of working spaces is still not a market-wide phenomenon. This has a knock-on effect on land pricing as the number of developers looking to create commercial buildings is still limited,” said Ms Hassanali.
Contrastingly, Ngong recorded the sharpest annual growth of 21.1 percent in house sale prices among satellite towns, followed by Ongata Rongai (14.8 percent) and Kiserian (13.3 percent) — all located in Kajiado.
However, Juja, Limuru, and Athi River recorded declines in house sale prices of 1.5 percent, 5.9 percent, and 0.8 percent during the year respectively.
Land prices in Upper Hill also fell sharpest among the city’s suburbs in 2022 by 3.3 percent from 2021 with the average value of land in the skyscraper-laden area estimated at Sh491 million per acre. Spring Valley and Loresho recorded the fastest growth in the value of the land at 14.6 percent and 11.9 percent during the year respectively due to their proximity to the busy commercial hub of Westlands.
“The recent rise of Westlands as the city’s premium commercial and entertainment hub has drawn more interest to its surrounding suburbs, creating more value in these quiet neighbourhoods that provide quick access to Westlands working zones as well as services for shopping and recreation,” she said.