Laikipia County is home to a picturesque landscape, diverse with natural beauty, extensive natural resource, abundant wildlife including the sought after ‘big five’, and hundreds of bird species. Conservancies and ranches like the Ol- pajeta, Lewa, Ol Jogi, among others have made the county a focal point for tourists visiting game reserves in Laikipia and Samburu counties.
Lured by good weather that prevails all year round, game in those conservancies, Europeans particularly the British are either settling in the county or buying holiday homes around Nanyuki and Nyahururu towns.
Most of the white settlers buying up property are soldiers or tourists who loved the county’s climate, its people and natural beauty and want to experience it all over again.
The upgrading of the Great North Road to a dual carriageway between Kenol and Marua and the revival of the old meter-gauge railway line from Nairobi to Nanyuki is expected to further boost growth.
The town’s proximity to Isiolo is also expected to spur further development as some investors opt to put up stores in Nanyuki and transport items to Isiolo for sale.
Land prices in the county’ urban centers such as Nanyuki town are highly dependent on proximity to roads and the central business district, and as a result of high demand from developers, have risen as much as 10-fold in the last seven years, with a quarter acre going for Sh25 million compared to seven years ago when the same size was being sold at about Sh2.5 million.
An acre within the town is at an average price of up to Sh100 million, while on the outskirts it costs approximately Sh1.6 million.
Cytonn Investments reported that Nanyuki real estate market recorded an average rental yield of 4.7 percent for the residential sector, 7.6 percent in the commercial sector, and a capital appreciation of 4.7 percent in the land sector, compared to the Nyeri market average of 5.1 percent, 6.3 percent, and 19.1 percent, respectively.
Factors Driving Real Estate Investment in Laikipia County
Over the last 5-years, Laikipia has witnessed increased real estate activities in the town and its environs driven by:
The county hosts key tourist attractions such as the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Mount Kenya National Park. The town thus acts as a major tourist circuit to Mt. Kenya and the Northern Region, enhancing demand for hospitality services which continues to promote the hospitality sector,
- Growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
The informal sector constitutes an estimated 98 percent of business in Kenya, contributing to 83.4 percent of jobs as per the 2018 KNBS Economic Survey.
There is an increase in the number of SME’S due to the county’s economic stimulus package for business and the ease of business registration as it now takes a maximum of 2 weeks. Laikipia hosts several of these companies such as Mawingu Networks that require office space and housing for the employees, hence drive the demand for real estate.
Decentralization has opened up major towns across the 47 counties attracting government institutions, private investors, and entrepreneurs across all the county headquarters.
This has increased the urbanization rate hence attracting financial institutions such as Absa Bank, ECLOF Kenya, and Faulu Kenya, to the county level to tap into the unbanked population.
The positive demographics, attributable to devolution have thus, created demand for office space, retail space, and residential units to host investors and government officials.
- British Army Training Unit Kenya
The British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) is a training support unit of the British Army located in Nanyuki under long-standing cooperative agreements with the country. The presence of the same has resulted in a growing demand for housing by the army officers mainly hosting their families in the town.