Kenya Homes Expo targets middle-class home buyers
The 24th edition of Kenya Homes Expo opens its doors to the public this morning at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, with a promise to offer home ownership opportunities to Kenya’s middle-class. The opening ceremony is expected to be presided over by Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development James Macharia. Over 200 exhibitors drawn from the real estate, finance, interior décor and design, building and construction sectors will showcase their products and services at the expo whose theme is “Homes for All”. According to its founder, Daniel Ojijo, the event will provide home ownership opportunities for Kenyans in the middle-income segment. Over the years, said Ojijo, the market has greatly been centered on high-end properties in up-market suburbs like Runda, Lavington, Karen, and Westlands, with more focus being on the upper-middle to high-income earners. Lately, however, there has been renewed interest in upcoming suburbs across the country like Athi River, Kitengela, Ngong, Thika and Ruiru. “Every Kenyan should have access to affordable housing, and with the recent reduction in interest rates, access to home loans should be easy to all regardless of their economic status. The low interest rates have created excitement in the market and are likely to allow many people access to mortgages,” he said.
The expo will showcase more than just homes, but include other concepts related to real estate. For example, prospective home owners will learn how to make use of land for agri-business before construction and thus earn some income that can offset building costs. Property Realty Company, one of the exhibitors, recently pioneered a scheme in Isinya where it is adding value to plots by building and operating greenhouses. Prospective home owners part with Sh250,000 over and above the plot purchase fee in order to continue benefiting from the greenhouse. The idea of “value added plots” is meant to attract suave, urban dwellers exposed to new methods of farming. The Kenya Homes Expo is held twice every year in April and October for four days per season. Over the years, the event has attracted over 40,000 buyers. Apart from locals, the expo is expected to attract foreign investors owing to recent high profile business summits in the capital.