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Why land remains ‘cheap’ along Kangundo Road amid growth

Published Thu, May 17th 2018 at 10:02, Updated May 17th 2018 at 14:27 GMT +3

NAIROBI, KENYA: Every weekend, Kangundo Road is characterised by heavy traffic jam as private cars compete for space with the matatus on the single lane road.

On Saturdays, buses ferry potential land investors for site visits in places like Ruai, Joska, Malaa, Kantafu and other neighbourhoods in Machakos County.

Kangundo Road and neighbouring suburbs are increasingly becoming popular with most Nairobi residents who have either bought land there or are planning to buy land.

According to Cytonn Investment’s Metropolitan Report on Nairobi, Ruai, which is among the most populous suburbs on Kangundo, is among the areas in Nairobi metropolis with the cheapest land price.

The report said an acre is going for an average of Sh13 million.

Moses Murithi, the managing director Fanaka Real Estate Ltd, says land prices in the area are still relatively low.

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For instance, a 50ft by 100ft piece of land located about three kilometres from the road in Ruai goes for Sh1.5 million, where a similar size located about six kilometres from the road goes for about Sh700,000.

He says in places like Malaa and Joska, a 50ft by 100ft piece of land goes for between Sh300,000 and Sh800,000. “Is this not cheap for a place located only 30 kilometres from the city centre?” asks Muriithi.

For years, people feared buying land in the area mainly because of ownership wrangles. An example is the controversial Embakasi Ranching Scheme whose shareholders were until recently embroiled in ownership wrangles.

A few months ago, President Uhuru Kenyatta ordered the closure of the scheme’s operations and the rightful shareholders to be issued with title deeds.  “Right now, people can differentiate between areas around Kangundo Road with clean titles and controversial land schemes,” he says. Farrowson Murithi says suburbs around Kangundo Road, are presenting real estate investment opportunities, thanks to affordable land prices.

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Kangundo Road will benefit from increased spending on infrastructure this year, rising by 38.1 per cent from Sh347.4 billion in 2017 to Sh396.8 billion. The Kenya National Highways Authority has already earmarked Kangundo Road for an upgrade to a dual carriage road.

The upgrade will start from the intersection of Outer Ring Road at the former Caltex Petrol Station (now Total) all the way to Joska, Kamulu and Malaa. The area boasts posh estates like the Stima Plains by Stima. The project is located on 20 acres in Malaa.

The area is also home to Sh500 billion Northlands Estate, currently under construction on 12, 000 acres in Ruai.

It will also be home to Ruai Park Estate, which is being developed by investors from the United Arab Emirates. The investors plan to develop a mega city on 1,000 acres.

Another big project in the area is Infinity Industrial Park. The project, which broke ground in 2016, is located at the junction of Eastern Bypass and Kagundo Road. “Some of the mega developments to be completed in the area in the next five years will slowly begin to push land prices up just like happened to areas around Thika Road,” says Murithi.

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