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Developers urged to chase less profit and more volume

The  Pan African Housing Financier, Shelter  Afrique, has urged local developers to venture into the affordable housing space to help improve uptake and reduce property glut being currently witnessed.

Speaking on Monday in Nairobi, the Shelter Afrique Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Andrew  Chimphondah, said most properties in Kenya were priced out of reach of many buyers hence the slow uptake.

“Most developers tend to add higher margins to the units they develop, which in the long run, make such units rather expensive. This partly explains why there is a glut in the property market despite the reported housing shortage in Kenya,” Chimphondah said.

“My advice to local developers is that they would rather chase less profit and more volume because if they chase the profit and not the volume, they end up not having take-ups. They can achieve this by venturing into the affordable housing space,” Chimphondah advised.

Developers have decried the high cost of land, high financing cost, poor infrastructure and lack of utilities, which they have to provide, thus pushing property prices up as they pass the costs onto the end-buyers.

“Land is very expensive in Kenya, sometimes constituting up to 40 percent of the cost of the house – probably the highest  in  Africa. The good news is that under affordable housing, there are new technologies and new building materials that can help reduce constructions costs significantly,”  Chimphondah said.

By  Joseph  Ng’ang’a

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