Syokimau is a suburban area located in the eastern part of Nairobi County, Kenya. This area has grown to become a hotspot for developers, a thriving middle class, and speculators, among other things. In this blog post, we will discuss the various factors that have contributed to the growth of Syokimau.

Syokimau is an area that has undergone significant changes in the past two decades. For the longest time, it was a barren, formless wasteland that was at best only good for cattle rearing. Then, a society of dwellers from Tala and Kangundo moved in in the 90s and subdivided the swath of land into parcels with seven roads.

Today, the seven roads- Airport Road, Mwananchi Road, Kiungani Road, Community Road, Katani Road, Parliament Road, and Quarry Road- still define Syokimau. Early dwellers lived in noticeable sizable patches, but the boom set off in the early 2010s. This was due to several factors, including the completion of the Nairobi Expressway in June last year, which proved to be the missing piece of the jigsaw.

Land price growth in Syokimau is partly a function of closeness to the capital or major commercial nodes, and the Expressway provides faster access to every part of the city that connects to it. As a result, Syokimau has become an attractive fringe suburb for development, which has triggered an increase in land prices. In the last year alone, land prices jumped 17.5 percent, lifting the average asking price for an acre to KES 28.3 million from KES 24 million in 2021, according to an analysis of data from the Hass Land Index by consultancy firm Hass Consult. Rent prices in the same period rose by nearly a double-digit rate of 9.6 per cent, while property prices were up by 0.7 per cent.

Syokimau’s location within Machakos County has also played a significant role in its growth. According to George Odongo, a real estate investment and housing consultant, the area has benefited from being a metropolitan and stands out for its lower approval fees and stamp duty. The proximity of Syokimau to Nairobi has made it an attractive option for homeowners and investors looking to purchase property near the city centre.

However, Syokimau has also faced several setbacks that have hindered its growth. One of the most significant challenges is the lack of a sewer line, which has led to high water bills for residents and a higher cost of maintenance for homes. Water supply to the area code is also constrained, despite the existence of requisite infrastructure, meaning the sight of water bows.

Nonetheless, residents of Syokimau have taken proactive measures to address some of these challenges. Resident groups have pushed for the construction of roads, and they have also come up with zoning laws. Lobbying by the residents’ association has seen the upgrading of Katani, Quarry, and sections of Mwananchi roads to bitumen standards via the Kenya Urban Roads Authority and the Kenya Rural Roads Authority with plans for paving parts of Airport and Chady roads in the short-term.

Residents have also been at the heart of the formulation and enforcement of a zoning policy that sets designations for industrial parks, high-density residences/apartments, and medium-density dwellings such as townhouses and single dwellings. Zoning has given Syokimau a competitive edge over residences without a similar separation, with homeowners or tenants of single dwellings taking comfort in knowing that they will not suffer the inconveniences of living within high crowded regions.