How Nairobi city’s concrete jungle is thickening faster

The value of reported building plans increased significantly from Sh215.2 billion in 2015 to Sh308.4 billion in 2016. photo:courtesy

Recent reports show that the total value of building permits issued in Nairobi have risen by more than 40 per cent due to the rising demand for housing.

This was attributed to increased investments in private residential developments.

In February last year, Land, Housing and Urban Development Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi stated that urban areas have a demand of 250,000 housing units per year and a provision of only 50,000, leaving a deficit of 200,000 units.

This brief looks at the value of private building plans that have been approved in Nairobi and building works that have been completed within the city.

Chart 1 highlights the value of private building plans in Nairobi from 2012 to 2016. It is evident that the value has been increasing over the period under review. There was a significant increase between 2015 and 2016 at Sh93.1 million to represent 43.3 per cent. This is the highest increase recorded over all the years analysed.

The increase between 2012 and 2013 is also relatively high at Sh55.5 million to represent 41.1 per cent. The lowest increase in value recorded is between 2014 and 2015 at Sh9.8 million. The total value of private building plans in Nairobi has increased by Sh173.3 million for the five-year period analyzed in chart 1.


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It is evident that the value of private building plans approved has indeed increased by 43.3 per cent between 2015 and 2016. In 2016, the value of reported building works completed was 24.7 per cent of the approvals, compared to 32.9 per cent in 2015. The value of approved plans and building works completed however continued to show an upward trend since 2013 as indicated by the data analysed in charts 1 and 2.


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