Rising demand for Kisumu apartments pushes up rents

Groovehut apartments in Kisumu

Kisumu apartment rents have nearly doubled over the past two years as rising tenant demand allows landlords to increase their rates, despite a growing supply.

Holiday makers and Kenyans from the Diaspora visiting the lake-side city are increasingly opting to stay in apartments as opposed to hotels – thereby fuelling an unprecedented demand for furnished apartments.

However, the apartments, which were relatively cheaper compared to the city’s high end hotels, are now becoming pricey.

A three bedroom apartment with fully a furnished kitchen, Internet connection and electric fence that ensures 24-hour security now goes for about Sh120,000 a month. The same unit goes for Sh85,000 for two weeks and Sh10,000 for a day.

“The demand for security and privacy by high end tenants and the availability of loans for buying or renting apartments are some of the factors boosting the market,” Victor Oluoch, the operations manager at Ounga Commercial Agencies said at a past interview.

The booming construction of furnished apartments has also been fuelled by the Sectional Properties Act which allows buyers to acquire ownership certificates for units separately.

“Initially people were refraining from buying the apartments since title deeds could not be given to individual units in a storey building but to the building as a whole, the amendment of that clause has caused a high demand for home ownership irrespective of its place in the storey building” Mr Oluoch said.

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The rising supply of new apartments and the changing opinions of the target customers could damp rent gains in the coming months, says Nick Omondi, a property agent in Kisumu.

“Most of those opting to reside in apartments do so because they see the facilities as more affordable and convenient compared to hotels. This group of people is price sensitive and will only absorb rent hikes to a certain limit.”

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