Developers of three-bedroom maisonettes have for the first time gained higher renting returns in the past one year compared with investors in two-bedroom flats and single-room houses, signalling recovery of the top-end housing segment after years of a lull.
The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) data shows that rent for a three-bedroom maisonette rose to an average Sh33,903 in June from Sh32,797 in the same month of 2016 — representing a rise of 3.3 per cent in the past year from a growth of 1.5 per cent a year earlier.
The rise in the units, popular with rich homes, is the fastest compared to other house categories, meaning the affluent have not been hard hit by rising renting costs.
This bucks a trend where rent for the spacious units have over the years trailed other housing segments amid concerns of a glut in the top-end market.
Two-bedroom flats, popular with the middle class, recorded the slowest rent growth in the past one year, benefiting tenants and fetching the least returns to investors.
The KNBS data shows that their rents are up a paltry 1.5 per cent to Sh20,362 from an average Sh20,056 a year earlier while a two-bedroom bungalow is up 1.6 per cent to Sh28,251.
The bureau does not currently track the rent for one-bedroom houses.
The KNBS data shows Nairobi’s middle class homes spend the bulk of their monthly income (23.6 per cent) on housing, utilities and cooking gas, exposing them most to the rising costs.