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In Nairobi, the demand for new developments is bouncing back.

Nearly three years after Covid sidelined Nairobi’s real estate market, normalcy is slowly creeping back into the city’s new development sector.

Luxury condos in excess, which flooded the Kilimani market before the pandemic, have mostly been sold. According to market reports, sale and rental prices have surpassed 2021 levels, and rents are still breaking records. And big megaprojects are once again being undertaken by developers.

But due to Covid’s acceleration of some emerging trends and prodding of builders in new areas, nothing is as it once was. According to industry data, despite the rising demand for home office space, the average size of new flats has decreased. Prior to the epidemic, the luxury market had been badly damaged, but now it is recovering, largely due to domestic rather than foreign customers.

Large-scale projects are starting to take shape in the boroughs outside of Nairobi, thanks in part to rezoning and renters’ flexible work schedules. And yet, mounting worries of a recession may pose a challenge to the new normal.

At the beginning of the pandemic, tenants had a lot of hopes, including that the city would become more cheap early on, that a bill to limit rent increases on market-rate flats would pass, and that distant employment would enhance the range of locations they could contemplate renting in.

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