Business / Industries

Chinese firms offering Kenyan home buyers good choices

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-06 16:43

NAIROBI - Chinese firms are participating in Kenya's real estate sector, which is among the fastest growing sectors in the East African nation.

The over $3.5 billion industry had been mainly dominated by local firms and a few from Europe. However, with Chinese companies' involvement, the market is becoming diversified.

The Chinese firms have entered the industry in several ways. First, they are massively investing in housing projects on the outskirts of Nairobi, providing buyers with various choices. Second, the houses are being sold at fairly affordable prices compared to others in the market. Third, they are offering some of the cheapest mortgages in the East African nation and fourth, the companies are manufacturing and selling building materials sourced from their home country, which Kenyans are embracing.

These materials include wall panels, tiles, glasses and doors. Analysts noted that Chinese firms' entrance into the real estate sector is coming with a lot of gains for Kenyans seeking to own homes.

"I have checked around and one of the things that stand out with the Chinese companies in this sector, as in others where they have presence like roads, is that they are offering some of the best prices," said real estate analyst Antony Kuyo.

Prices of houses in Nairobi continue to rise as cost of building materials and value of land appreciates due to increased demand.

"Most Chinese companies are offering houses fair prices compared to the local ones, including in high-end districts of the capital. In high-income areas, a two-bedroom apartment constructed by the Chinese is going for $151,162, but others are selling it for up to $186,046," said Kuyo.

He added that this shows if more Chinese companies enter the sector, then prices of houses in Kenya can drastically come down.

"The companies can leverage from their experience back home to build affordable houses in Kenya using low-cost technologies, which we lack here," said Kuyo.

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