Most of the landowners are selling their land, some which they have held onto for many years, to cash in on the prices that have surged to an all-time high amid increased demand.

Land
Land

With the expansion of university education and county government services in rural Kenya, demand for land has tripled with people buying it to build hostels and houses, among other facilities.

A quarter acre in different rural parts of the East African nation is not going for less than 14,563 U.S. dollars, a price that many landowners, who have never come across such an amount of money, are finding hard to resist.
Cyril Omwoyo, a resident of Kakamega, is one of the landowners in the Western Kenya County, who recently sold his land to reap the huge gain.

Omwoyo, who lives on the outskirts of the town, sold a quarter acre at 19,417 dollars, a price that set a record in his village.

“I had not even thought of selling my land because I have children who I will pass some of it to them. Besides, I grow food on the five acres,” he said on Thursday.

However, a man approached him seeking to buy the land that is few metres from the main highway.
He offered Omwoyo the 19,417 dollars for the quarter acre, a price that the landowner found irresistible.
“I was in deep surprise because no one in the village has ever sold quarter acre at that price. The close someone had come was 11,650 dollars and that was about three months ago,” said Omwoyo, who sold the land a fortnight ago.

It was the first time the 45-year-old was selling the land he inherited from his father.
Apparently, the land buyer, as many others seeking to invest in the area, bought the land in cash and is eyeing to reap from the construction of a university campus in the area.

Masinde Muliro University, located in Kakamega town, is expected to set up the college in the area and, thus, investors are seeking to cash in on the expected demand for student hostels.

A frenzy of land deals have, therefore, hit the area, like others in the expansive county and across the East African nation, which is experiencing faster rise in real estate development.

Several kilometres away in Kisumu and Nakuru, things are not any different, with cash buyers luring landowners with high prices.

An eighth of an acre on the outskirts of the towns is being sold for at least 14,563 dollars, prices that are higher than those in Nairobi’s satellite suburbs.

Real estate firm HassConsult in a report released this week noted that average land prices in Nairobi’s 18 suburbs had increased by 11 percent in the last one year.

The firm’s head of research and marketing Sakina Hassanali added that prices have risen exponentially across the East African nation as investors put their money in land and houses for higher returns.

Antony Kuyo, a real estate consultant with Avent Properties in Nairobi, said majority of those offering irresistible deals to landowners are cash buyers.

“They have the money that they are ready to spend, and most of the time offer sellers what they quote or even more.

Unfortunately, some of these people buying land at exorbitant prices are laundering money gotten through illegal means, pushing up the cost of the resource,” he said, as he noted that land prices in both rural and urban areas in Kenya are nearing unaffordable levels. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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