BuyRentKenya: Traffic to property portals in Kenya like BuyRentKenya rebound after dropping in March when the first case of the coronavirus was announced in Kenya. After the first case was announced in March, there was a drop in traffic both from the search activity and conversions. However, with the stay at home directive from the government, the traffic numbers have doubled.
Even with the pandemic, the most searched category is property for sale. People are looking to maximise on this period now that property prices are going down.
Drilling down further, the top searches as per category were land, houses, apartments and
commercial property. Most of the site visitors are looking for houses and land for sale. When looking for houses for sale, the leading locations are Runda, Karen, Kitisuru, Kitengela, Thika Road and Kiambu Road. In the land category, top searched locations include Nanyuki, Gilgil, Kitengela, Ruiru, Nakuru and Kiambu. The BuyRentKenya data shows that the age demographic of property seekers are 25 to 44 years.
This drop is attributed to the lockdown which has affected counties with the major construction, infrastructure and real estate projects being hit the worst. There was also a drop in the people searching for apartments for rent. With the wait and see mindset and anxiety, people are not necessarily moving houses during this period.
They would rather stay in their current homes and avoid unnecessary movement while saving. Others are afraid of leaving the house to even go view houses because of how easy it is to catch the disease. After the 62% weekly drop in new listings, the numbers continue to rise close to double.
Commercial property is the most hard-hit with more people working from home. Office blocks remain empty. More companies are looking to save on operational costs and considering how to make working remotely a full-time option.
What can we expect in the coming months?
As it is, the real estate market was witnessing an oversupply of property in certain areas while demand was high in others. As the pandemic continues, most stakeholders are adopting a wait and see attitude. People are scared of the future, not knowing what will happen. There is a lot of uncertainty. Job cuts are in full effect making it hard for people to pay rent. Developments will stall.
When we make it out of the current situation, everyone will try to get back on their feet. Some agents and developers will have stale properties. Property prices will drop which will create an opportunity for anyone looking to buy.
In some areas, this is already being witnessed, with businesses reducing prices to make a sale during these tough times. With 2022 being an electioneering year, property seekers will adopt a wait and see mindset meaning 2021 is where most of the buying will take place.