Investors’ fight for Marsabit pushes land prices to the roof

Residents outside a new hotel in Marsabit town.
Residents outside a new hotel in Marsabit town. PHOTO/COURTESY
Investors are fighting for a piece of Marsabit real estate in a move that has pushed up land prices in the previously gloomy town.

The scramble comes shortly after the completion of the Isiolo-Moyale highway, which has opened up the transport system into and out of Marsabit – transforming the town into a major hub in the northern frontier counties.

A 100 feet by 50 feet plot is currently going for at least Sh10 million up from Sh4 million in 2015, which translates to about Sh80 million per acre.

Considering that Marsabit land for sale is quickly getting exhausted, land owners are managing to hike their prices and get away with it thanks to the high number of wealthy investors seeking to invest in the town.

A land broker, Adam Koje, recently told reporters that land prices had risen exponentially since the opening of the new highway that has made Marsabit quite attractive to property developers.

“Investors are on the standby waiting for land owners to announce sales. They then compete to outdo each other on who becomes the highest bidder to win the seller’s attention,” Mr Koje said.

READ: How to buy land in Kenya

Marsabit has no land valuers or companies that can help shape investments, leaving independent brokers as the only link between buyers and sellers of land in the town.

Interestingly, locals are reportedly unwilling to sell their land to ‘foreign’ investors and the fear of investors from other regions taking over Marsabit has made residents to hike land prices just to put off buyers.

Land outside Marsabit town is significantly lower depending on the location and terrain, with an acre of land three kilometres from the central business district going for Sh1 million – for the hilly and rocky areas; and Sh2.5 million for the level ground.

In 2012, land in the areas was selling for Sh150,000 per acre and even at that price only a handful of investors were interested in the property.

– This article first appeared in the Construction Business Review.