A rise in the number of students seeking shelter is driving the surge in land prices in Ruiru, Juja, and Thika as developers move to cash in from housing demand.
In the three-month period to March, land prices in these satellite towns rose by 2.17 percent while Nairobi prices remained static at 0.11 percent, property tracker HassConsult survey shows.
HassConsult says Thika was the best performing town in terms of an increase in land prices over the first three months of the year.
Thika, Juja, and Ruiru towns host a selection of public, private universities, and other institutions of higher learning where expansion has drawn investors, including private equity firms, who are focusing on student housing.
The area is home to Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Zetech University as well as Thika-based Mount Kenya University, Umma University, and Gresta University among others.
The area is also home to over a dozen colleges including Jodan College, and Thika Technical Training Institute among other middle level institutions of higher learning.
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“Students, the teaching fraternity, and ancillary services providers are looking for quality housing that will also reduce their transportation costs and commuting time,” said Ms Sakina Hassanali, Head of Development Consulting and Research at HassConsult.
Developers are therefore investing in putting up modern student housing that will cater to this demand which has translated into higher land prices in these strategically located towns that cater to the student ecosystem, Ms Hassanali explained.
Overall, Upperhill area remains the most expensive address for land buyers with an acre going for Kes500 million while Ruaka prices have surged to retail at Kes92 million per acre in the period under focus.
|Town / Area||10 Year Change in value since 2012||Average Price Per Acre (KSh Millions)|