Real estate firms move to Kilifi due to affordable land
The reason investors prefer Kilifi to other counties such as Mombasa has to do with cost of land.
The other reason investors have given for eyeing Kilifi as an investment destination is availability of raw materials for construction.
“Generally, land in Kilifi County is cheaper than in Mombasa. What is offered here in Mombasa for an acre is double that in Kilifi. Construction is easier here because stones come from areas in Kilifi while sand used for construction is found in Malindi,” he said.
He said a beach plot in Kilifi goes for Sh40 million an acre, while the same size of land in Nyali is sold at Sh100 million.
Mr Thuranira predicts that land in Kilifi will soon drastically appreciate as the town is on its way to becoming a major residential area for Mombasa people.
“It is just like Nairobi, where everyone is moving away from the city to Karen and Kiambu. Kilifi will now be the bedroom of Mombasa. Due to the high demand, we definitely expect the cost of land to rise sharply,” said Mr Thuranira.
Tourism players have argued that Mombasa is a small county, and it is normal for investors and proprietors to move to neighbouring towns.
“Mombasa is a small county, therefore we definitely expect it to grow northwards or southwards, which is happening now. Land is a limited factor of production, plus the cost of land is very high,” he said in an interview.
“This is beneficial to the county because right now Mtwapa has become a cosmopolitan place, where 80 per cent of property is owned by women,” he added.
Mr Hersi says the development in Kilifi and the surrounding areas will not only be beneficial to the specific areas, but also to the Coast region.
“There will be no problem if tourists stay in Malindi or Kilifi. This has been happening for a long time and it benefits the Coast region and the country at large. Mombasa also boasts of beaches such as Nyali, Jomo Kenyatta and Shelly.
“There is no way our tourism is going to be affected if investors move out of the county,” said Mr Hersi.
He added that Mombasa, being a small island, does not have room for the kind of growth that is possible in areas like Kikambala in Kilifi.
“People now want to keep their cattle, have a small farm and have poultry in the same compound, which is not possible in the city,” explained Mr Thuranira.
“They only need to pay 50 per cent of the land value and pay the rest in instalments in three to six months period. But beware of land grabbers and land cartels in Mombasa, Kilifi and Kwale counties,” he said.