Developers seek idle government land

June 6, 2013
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Ark consultant's Director Reginald Okumu says close to 70 percent of land in the country belongs to the government with religious and non-governmental institutions holding close to 15 percent/FILE
Ark consultant’s Director Reginald Okumu says close to 70 percent of land in the country belongs to the government with religious and non-governmental institutions holding close to 15 percent/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 6 – Property developers in the country have urged the government to come up with a policy that will see some of the State’s idle land released for property development.

Ark consultant’s Director Reginald Okumu says close to 70 percent of land in the country belongs to the government with religious and non-governmental institutions holding close to 15 percent.

Speaking at a stakeholder’s forum in Nairobi, Okumu lamented that if nothing is done, lack of land for development will limit growth of real estate in the counties.

“There is going to be huge demand for housing in the counties. Remember there will be need for space to build offices. Those staff taking up jobs in the counties will need to be accommodated hence the need for residential houses,” Okumu noted.

He also attributed the continued high cost of housing to lack of enough land for construction.

“If you have 300,000 people in market place, and you have 50,000 units only to distribute, what happens? It’s chaos. The prices shoot up to unacceptable levels. The government has got quite huge chunks of land plus other players which they should try and release to the market. It does not benefit anyone for land to stay undeveloped for decades,” he said.

He says there is need for government to also come up with incentives that will encourage developers to move to other major towns in the country apart from Nairobi.

“For example in the manufacturing sector, the government has come up with a way where all those who have industries outside Nairobi import equipment from outside tax free.

Citing the recent investor conference in Machakos County, Okumu called on governors to however take the lead by helping the developers access the available land through partnerships.

He was speaking ahead the 11th Property and Home Living Expo 2013, scheduled to take place from June 20 to 23 in Nairobi.

The expo which will give focus on real estate in counties is expected to attract more visitors across the East African Region.

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