Due to the phased re-opening of the economy, real estate developer Mzizi Africa Homes has noted increased activities in the real estate sector in Kenya over the next quarter with positive expectations on affordable housing provision with the phased re-opening of the economy. Measures taken by the government to control the Covid-19 pandemic have had a major impact on the economy. The partial lockdown implemented to curb the spread of the pandemic in the country impeded supply chains including intermittent access to construction material shops that impacted on project delivery timelines.
The pandemic also forced many players in the real estate sector to lay off several workers on sites. This in turn has affected projects’ completion, but the situation is projected to improve in the future. It is recorded that almost 300,000 people in the country lost their jobs in Kenya since March when it reported the first coronavirus case. It is also estimated that many more Kenyans could be left jobless over the next six months. Gradual re-opening of the county should be able to reverse adverse effects on job losses, savings and investment funds.
Mizizi Africa Homes operations director, George Mburu, told the media “We expect most activities to gradually return to optimum levels to correct longer development periods, a situation we had been pushed into by the Covid-19 pandemic. A longer lockdown period meant that developer operational costs of completing housing units also rose on reduced incomes. This situation if sustained would have threatened sustainability and existence of developers.”
Subdued economic activities also meant that instalment collections for off-plan housing units were slightly disrupted on account of delayed payments as investors became risk-averse. Mizizi Africa Homes remains optimistic that the real estate sector will take an upward trajectory despite the negative effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector. Besides, real estate activities will rise as the government and private sector players increase their efforts towards affordable housing provision.