Loneview residential estate in Syokimau taken on 20th February 2015. PHOTO:WILBERFORCE OKWIRI
When Heri Homes limited presented keys to its 63 clients for their houses early last month, something that attracted a wide media attention over the past two weeks.
Diana Muthoni, 29, and Christine Muvea, 28, were among the home owners who received keys to their homes. They had achieved something many only dream of.
Among two other young people, their age brought them into spotlight compared to the other home owners who received the keys.
“It is so exciting to own a home. I at least can now be retreating to my house after a hard day’s work free from the landlord’s pestering,” Muthoni said.
When she spoke to Home & Away, she expressed her pleasure and pride in being a millennial, a generation that is making their mark felt across all sectors, including real estate.
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This age group, Peter Muraya —Suraya Property Group CEO — says, is the reason investors and major stakeholders in the real estate sector are upbeat about every move that the industry is taking.
He says millenials are bringing about a total paradigm shift in demand, diversity and preferences when it comes to housing compared to what their parents treasured.
“They are a market segment that has grown in the desired urban cores and traditional city suburbs that their parents found suitable to bring them up in, but, having grown at the comfort of technology, they are now out to change everything,” says Muraya.
Surveys by HassConsult, Knight Frank, and Price Water Coopers, this year, indicate a rising demand for residential units in the housing market, and a close monitoring has shown that millenials is making up a large percentageof those expressing interest in putting a roof over their head. However, there taste is totally different from what the older generations looked up to.
According to PWC’s report on emerging trends in real estate for 2017 which analysed the millennial’s preferences in the housing market, density, diversity, walkability, and transit accessibility dominate their demands in the housing market.
Speaking to Home & Away, Heri Homes Limited operations director Jorum Mwangi, says that there is indeed a rising number of millenials looking out for better houses and living space, although with a sophisticated taste. And in spite of the massive finances required when moving out, millennials are moving out of their parent’s basements to form new households faster than their parents did, thus they are already an integral segment in the housing market.
“Their parents used to wait longer to settle down. This generation is not being held back by the overwhelming rise in rent in wherever they are choosing to live in,” says Mwangi.
Abraham Muriithi, general manager of Property Reality Company, says that the millenials are not only buying homes but also becoming a leading pack amongst the investors joining the real estate market.
“I interact with a number of them, what I have realised is that since they do not have much disposable capital at hand, they are even delaying both marriage and parenthood to invest, which was not common with my generation,” says Muriithi. He says that in their own a survey that they conducted earlier in the year, millenials featured as the largest group to have expressed interest in purchasing both houses and land.
In the survey, 55 per cent of those that expressed interest to purchase houses were from ages of 31 to 35 compared to the older generations of ages 35 to 40 and 41 to 45 and those at 55 years and above who recorded smaller percentages. “older generations of between 35 years to 40, 41 to 45 years and 55 years and above had little interest in purchasing houses recording 54, 48 and 50 percent respectively, a lesser percentage compared to the millenials,” Muriithi says.
Suraya Property’s Peter Muraya adds that in spite of this generation being strapped by high debts baggage that range from Helb loans, lower starting incomes and little job opportunities, they are still holding on to big life commitments such as marriage and home ownership.
He says this generation is among the reasons why the real estate market hasseen a higher demand for rental housing, which is increasing rental incomes with some embracing new modes of construction to appease them.
“Most of the old generation is now settled in life. Millenials are the ones currently acting as our prime investor targets for value added upgrades in most of the old properties either as tenants or potential buyers to cater for their preferences,” he says.