Over the years an emerging trend in Kenyan real estate has been the increase in the number of apartment units over standalone housing. One major factor contributing to this is rural-to-urban migration which means an influx in the numbers within the major cities and a demand for residential spaces. This has necessitated the maximization of space. 

An aerial view of the Nairobi City | pc: Google

Apartment complexes over villas and standalone units

A lot of these apartment complexes also come in handy in the consolidation of the amenities that can be used by the tenants in the developments which results in saving on costs as compared to what may have alternatively been spent if each tenant had to cater to the costs of the amenities individually. It is also much more environmentally conscious as developers look at using more sustainable energy sources such as solar water heating and environmentally friendly materials in their construction. For investors, apartment units make a lot of economic sense as they could choose to let them out for short-term stays or long-term stays. The average market return on investment rate for such units is between 6-8 % and it could go up to an impressive 16% if the units are furnished. This has led to an increase in the demand for a lot of studio and 1 bedroom units for use as Airbnb units across the country and especially Nairobi.

A three-bedroom apartment that is up for sale along Riara Road | pc: point properties limited.

Mixed-Use Developments
Another emerging trend in Kenyan real estate is integrated developments that combine residential, commercial, and retail spaces. The efficiency and usefulness of mixed-use developments cannot be emphasized enough. These types of developments provide flexibility and accessibility for those looking to use them commercially and for residential purposes.

Take for example development with office spaces and retail stores all in one. The residents would have the flexibility to live and work without the stress of having to endure long hours in traffic, rising costs of fuel and the general hectic nature of a commute to the office or retail stores on a day-to-day basis. The 2020 pandemic also led to a demand for flexibility in residential developments in this way. Given the restriction movement all across the country, there was a necessary demand for self-sufficiency.

Technology Integration

The adoption of technology in real estate is a notable emerging trend in Kenya, with online property listings, virtual tours, property management software, and smart home technology solutions gaining popularity. This enhances transparency and convenience for buyers, sellers, and investors.
An emerging trend in Kenyan real estate, especially for potential homeowners looking to relocate or repatriate back to Kenya is the 360 virtual tours that enable them to get a feel of their future home anywhere in the world and at their convenience.

This makes the process seamless and saves on costs that would have otherwise been incurred if they were to physically tour all the options they were considering.
Other major technological integrations that aim at essentially easing everyday life for homeowners are: wireless internet connectivity ready units, cable TV connectivity, and video intercoms in all the units for easy communication with building management just to mention a few.

Quality Interiors Finishes

Another emerging trend in the Kenyan Real Estate market is the demand for high-quality and aesthetic finishes. From the lighting, wall, flooring and ceiling finishes. Kenyans are leaning towards more chic, high quality and sustainable finishes.
One noteworthy interior finish trend is the move from more neutral wall colour finishes such as whites and creams to bolder colours and textures with the intent to give the walls more character. This may be for whole rooms or just one intended to be the accent wall.
A particularly aesthetic trend is gypsum wall lighting which is being adopted in many urban residential units. Not only is this kind of lighting beautiful but also energy efficient. With a lot of effort going into building a much more sustainable world, this is a very welcome improvement and also cost-effective for both the tenants and homeowners.

A 7-bedroom villa with high-end finishes that is up for sale in Karen | pc: point properties limited

Customization of interiors
A fast-emerging trend in the Kenyan real estate market is the customization of house interiors. As time goes by people are looking to create very unique experiences in all the areas of their lives that reflect who they are. There is an increased awareness that people want very different things out of their living spaces.
The goal of customization as an emerging trend in Kenyan real estate is the ability to create very personalized living experiences through tailored finishes that suit the taste, personality and niche needs of the unit owners.

In the ever-evolving landscape of Kenyan real estate, one thing is crystal clear: change is the name of the game. As we’ve explored the emerging trends that are reshaping the way we live, invest, and envision our spaces, it’s evident that these shifts are more than just passing fads – they’re the building blocks of a dynamic future.

The future is what we make of it. These trends aren’t just about buildings; they’re about reimagining the very concept of “home” and pushing the boundaries of what it means to live in a space that resonates with our individuality. So whether you’re an investor, a homeowner, or an adventurer in the realm of property, remember that these trends are your compass, guiding you towards a horizon where possibilities are limitless.

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