|The super highway that has changed everything.|
The former vast coffee estates are being transformed into residential estates, mainly gated community residential dwellings. The price of land in the area has skyrocketed as its demand soars with improved road travel from the capital city and Thika.
According to real estate consultant Charles Mwangi, the secondary effects of the road construction include employment opportunities, increased economic and commercial activities as well as opening up new economic frontiers. These have had tremendous effects on real estate in the area with the major beneficiary being properties fronting the superhighway.
“Property values in the said areas have in some instances witnessed 500 per cent increment with land owners capitalising on the expected demand when the surrounding areas opens up,” says Mwangi.
For example, 40x80 prime plots next to Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), with most of them promising clean documents and all services available, are going for around Sh1.5 million. This is five times more than the Sh300,000 they were going for about ten years ago.
The rise in the number of proposed multi-billion shilling gated-community estates along the stretch is luring middle-income investors, previously concentrated in Nairobi, into the plains of Ruiru, Juja and Thika where virgin agricultural land is being transformed into residential estates.
Mega cities’ effect
There are many instances of upcoming mega residential developments as a result of the infrastructural improvements. They include Tatu City, Suraya Four ways Junction, Oak Valley Development, Thika Greens, Jacaranda Gardens, Migaa and Golden Mile Park among others. All these projects mark the start of a new wave of both residential and commercial developments in the areas adjoining the super highway. The results of these developments have been astronomical price increases for plots along the stretch.
According to Patricia Githu, a director at Developing Afrika, the developers of Juja South Estate, this area is prime with housing estates mostly because of the available amenities for any home seeker.
“The completion of the super highways is one of the greatest attractions in this area. We are also seeing available amenities like sewer lines, water, electricity and feeder roads, making Juja a property hot cake,” says Githu.
For example, the Juja South Estate targets the middle or medium-sized entrepreneurs.
“We wanted to start a unique project in an area where change will be evident, and where we give people a taste of space, something that they have always wanted. While we visited many sites in various towns, we settled for Juja to give a new taste of well sized home with enough space for room sizes and a compound,” says Githu.
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