How millennials are sparking Nairobi serviced apartments boom

Well-funded developers are increasingly pouring big doses of investment into construction of serviced apartments in Nairobi as they seek to meet the rising demand for such facilities.

Serviced apartments are proving especially popular with multinationals operating in Kenya, whose workforces – largely millennials – are largely capitalising on serviced residences in Nairobi – piling more pressure on the few high quality apartments available in the city.

This trend is sparking new investments, ranging from five-star hotel-based residences to high-end serviced apartments, in prime locations across the city as investors race to meet the rising demand for non-hotel accommodation among travellers

Prit Shah, sales manager of Vaal Real Estate, said in an interview that Nairobi serviced apartments have registered a three-year average occupancy of 72 per cent compared to a 52 per cent average for short-stay hotels, mainly due to the flexibility and freedom afforded by these dwellings.

“In terms of a home away from home, a serviced apartment will give you that but a hotel can’t. You get a kitchen; you can cook your meal. With a hotel, it is not possible. So we have seen a very big rise with the occupancy for serviced apartments compared to traditional hotels,” Mr Shah said.

According to Vaal Real Estate, Nairobi boasted 4,582 serviced apartments last year – nearly double the figure in 2013 – with Westlands supplying 37 per cent of these residences due to its vast offering of business, entertainment, and social amenities. Kilimani followed at 28 per cent, with the city centre and Upper Hill supplying nine and six per cent of Nairobi serviced apartments respectively.

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By Joy Makena

Source: Construction Kenya

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