Kenyan Real Estate: Your Ultimate FAQ Guide

Kenya Real Estate FAQs

Demystifying Kenyan Real Estate: A Comprehensive Guide to Your Queries

There are many questions we come across our day to day in real estate dealings in Kenya. We have tried to answer them as simply as possible. Feel free to ask any that you may have that was not addressed here.

How Much is 1 Acre of Land in Kenya?

The cost of one acre of land in Kenya varies significantly based on factors such as location, proximity to urban centers, and infrastructure development. In general, you might find acreage prices ranging from Ksh 1 million to Ksh 10 million near developed neighborhoods to as low as Ksh.250,000 an acre to locations further out. For instance, in the upscale neighborhood of Karen, Nairobi, the cost can escalate to Ksh 50 million or more due to its posh reputation and exclusive real estate offerings.

Real Estate Investing: How To Get Started

Embarking on a real estate investment journey in Kenya demands careful planning. Start by researching market trends and identifying growth areas. For instance, areas like Ngong, Ruaka and Athi River have shown promising appreciation rates in the recent past. Engage with seasoned investors and consider working with reputable real estate agents who can provide valuable insights into emerging opportunities.

How Much Do You Need to Invest in Real Estate in Kenya?

Investment requirements hinge on your goals and the location. A good question to first answer is what is your motivation to invest in real estate?. Is it for capital gains? Is it for development and returns?. For those looking for a return by buying and waiting, then it is possible to start with as low as Ksh 89,000 for a small-scale investment in Malindi. Diversification and exploring financing options are crucial strategies. For instance, investing in affordable housing projects can yield solid returns, catering to a growing demand in major cities like Nairobi.

How to Get Title Deeds from Land Registry

This is assuming you have made a vacant land or developed property purchase and wish to get the title deed in your name. First you will require all transfer instruments executed properly in your favor; This include spousal consents where the vendor is married, the land control board consent, a duly signed and witnessed sale agreement among others. Engage a legal professional or a seasoned, registered real estate agent like Mkaazi Real Estate to ensure all documents are in order. Then pay the required fees, such as stamp duty tax and land board fees.

Once you submit all required documents and pay the requisite fees, the registry will print a new title deed and update the green card, which is a document (its actually green in colour) that records change of ownership of a parcel at the lands registry. You will need your original identity card or passport to collect the new title deed. The process, though bureaucratic, is essential for establishing ownership rights. In recent years, the government has been streamlining these processes to attract more investors.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Title Deed in Kenya?

A better way to phrase this question would be what costs are involved in transferring land ownership in Kenya. Depending on whether the property is freehold or leasehold, the transaction costs may vary. But the major costs are pegged n the value of the property, the higher the value of the property the higher the fees. For example , lease hold properties attract higher stamp duty (usually 4%) than free hold or agricultural land (2%).

The costs of obtaining a title deed include registration fees and other transaction costs such as stamp duty, valuation, land board, consent to transfer and legal fees. Be prepared to allocate a portion of your budget for these necessary expenses.

How Does a Genuine Title Deed Look Like?

A title deed is a legal property ownership document signed and sealed by relevant authorities. It includes crucial details such as the owner’s name, property size, and unique reference numbers. Interests such as loans can be recorded on a title deed.

How does one verify authenticity of a title deed in Kenya?

Verifying the authenticity of a title deed in Kenya is crucial to ensure that the property transaction is legitimate and that you are dealing with a valid document. Here are steps you can take to verify the authenticity of a title deed in Kenya:

1. Check the Document Details:

Examine the title deed for accuracy in details such as the property description, size, and location.
Confirm that the names of the registered owner match the information provided during the transaction. In short, the names of the vendor, the person selling, should be exactly the same both on the title deed and on their ID or passport.

2. Land Reference Number:

Each title deed is associated with a unique Land Reference Number (LRN). Verify that the LRN on the document matches the official records. This can be done by doing a title search at the lands registry for the county where the land is registered. Some registries have been made accessible online but most land registries across the country are still physical. Visit the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning or the relevant local land registry office. Request to inspect the official records to cross-verify the details mentioned in the title deed.

3. What you need to do a search at the Land Registry:

When you want to perform a search at the lands registry, other than being physically present, you need to provide a copy of your original identification document. And a copy of the title deed you would want the search to be performed on.

4. Title Deed Serial Number:

Ensure that the serial number on the title deed is genuine and matches the records at the land registry. Some of the recent title deed also have a scannable QR code that will quickly verify the details of owner’s names and the size of the land.

5. Professional Assistance:

Engage a qualified land surveyor, legal professional, or real estate expert to review the title deed.
Seek their expertise in ensuring that the document aligns with legal requirements and standards.

6. Land Control Board Clearance:

Verify that the land has received clearance from the local Land Control Board. This is particularly important for agricultural land.

7. Online Verification:

Some regions in Kenya have implemented online platforms for title deed verification. Check if the land registry provides online access to verify the authenticity of a title deed. Note, there are applicable fees and a requirement to be registered on the platform.

8. Search Notices and Cautions:

Check for any caveats, notices, or cautions registered against the property. These could indicate legal disputes or issues that might affect the property’s status. To do this you will need to engage a registered agent or a registered advocate.

9. Title Documents Copies:

Request certified copies of the title deed from the land registry. This allows you to compare the document you have with the officially recorded version.

10. Legal Advice:

If in doubt, seek legal advice. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions to ensure the title deed is valid and legally binding.

Remember, the process may vary slightly based on location, and it’s advisable to consult with local authorities and real estate professionals familiar with the specific land registry where the property is located. Always exercise due diligence when verifying the authenticity of a title deed to protect your interests in any real estate transaction.

What is Virgin Land in Agriculture?

Virgin land, in agricultural terms, refers to untouched, uncultivated land with natural vegetation. Investors often seek such land for agricultural projects due to its potential fertility. For example, in regions like Malindi, Eldoret or Nanyuki, virgin land offers opportunities for profitable agribusiness ventures.

Why is Land in Malindi So Cheap?

The affordability of land in Malindi can be attributed to factors such as its distance from major urban centers, limited infrastructure development, and local economic conditions. Investors should carefully evaluate these aspects before considering property purchases. However, despite its lower prices, Malindi offers unique opportunities for agricultural development and tourism-related developments, making it an attractive prospect for certain types of investors.

Land being so cheap in Malindi presents an unmatched opportunity for capital gains when the values appreciate. Industry data has shown that land values in Kenya have outperformed all types of investment over the last 30 years, and they are not slowing down.

Here is an infographic from Hass property index in Q3 2023 demonstrating that fact. .

Land outpeforms compared to other asset classes in Kenya

So buying cheap land in Malindi is a great investment idea, speak to us today, we are area experts in Malindi and its environs.

How much is an acre of land in Karen

Land prices in Karen, an upscale suburb in Nairobi, can vary widely based on factors such as location within Karen, infrastructure development, and proximity to amenities. Generally, you can expect prices to range from tens of millions to over a hundred million Kenyan Shillings per acre.

To obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information on the current cost of an acre of land in Karen, I recommend reaching out to real estate agents like us with real estate listings specific to the Karen area. Real estate prices are subject to market fluctuations and can change based on various factors, so getting the latest information from local sources would be the most reliable approach.

How Big is an Eighth of an Acre?

An eighth of an acre in Kenya spans roughly 50 feet by 100 feet, making it an ideal size for residential plots and small-scale farming ventures. For context, 50 ft is approximately 20 steps and 100 ft is approximately 40 steps. Most plots a rectangular in shape, with two sides roughly of the same size. For perspective, think of it as a space where you can comfortably build a modest home with ample room for a garden or other amenities.

What Does Half an Acre Look Like?

Visualize half an acre as a rectangular plot measuring approximately 100 feet by 200 feet. If you were to walk round it, you will make approximately 40 steps on the width and 80 steps on the length. This size is suitable for more extensive residential projects or medium agricultural enterprises. For instance, on half an acre you could picture a spacious property with room for a home, a garden, and possibly even a small orchard.

Quarter, Half, and What is Next?

Understanding land measurements is pivotal. Beyond a half-acre comes a three-quarter acre, providing you with more space for larger projects. This knowledge is essential for making informed decisions based on your specific requirements and budget constraints.

Why Are Title Deeds in Kenya Measured in Hectares While Land is Sold in Acres?

In Kenya, the coexistence of two different land measurement systems, hectares and acres, can be traced back to historical influences and the transition from colonial-era practices to the metric system adopted post-independence.

Historical Context:

During the colonial period, British rulers utilized the imperial system, which included land measurements in acres. This system was implemented in the land registration and documentation processes. Consequently, when Kenya gained independence in 1963, it inherited the existing land registry structure, continuing to use acres on title deeds.

Global Transition to Metric:

In the subsequent years, the international community, including Kenya, transitioned towards the metric system, adopting hectares as a standard unit of measurement. This change aimed to streamline global communication and promote uniformity in measurements.

Government’s Metric Adoption:

While the metric system became the standard, the process of updating existing land records to hectares was gradual. The government, recognizing the need for a standardized system, started issuing title deeds in hectares to align with international norms.

Practical Implications:

Despite the transition, land transactions, especially in rural areas and among local communities, continued to be conducted in acres due to familiarity and traditional practices. This dual usage creates a situation where title deeds are in hectares, reflecting the metric system, while land transactions are still commonly expressed in acres.

Legal Harmonization Challenges:

Harmonizing the measurement units on title deeds and in daily transactions poses legal and administrative challenges. Changing the unit on existing title deeds would require a systematic and comprehensive update of the land registry, which is a time-consuming and resource-intensive process.

How do you convert Hectares to Acres

To convert hectares to acres, you can use the following conversion factor:

1 hectare = 2.47105 acres

So, to convert a given area from hectares to acres, you would multiply the number of hectares by the conversion factor:

Acres = Hectares * 2.47105

For example, if you have 5 hectares of land, the conversion to acres would be:

5 times 2.47105  which will be approx 12.35525 acres

Keep in mind that this conversion factor is an approximation, and the actual value used may vary slightly in different contexts.

Conclusion:

The coexistence of hectares on title deeds and acres in land transactions in Kenya is a result of historical practices, global metric system adoption, and the challenges associated with updating existing land records. While the country officially uses hectares for new land documentation, the traditional use of acres persists in practical, day-to-day land dealings. It’s essential for property buyers and investors to be aware of both units to navigate the Kenyan real estate landscape effectively.

Feel free to reach us on +254 764 56 8989 or email us at info@mkaazirealestate.com. We are always happy to help.

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0 thoughts on “Kenyan Real Estate: Your Ultimate FAQ Guide”

  • Nana

    Great read! Well written, informative and simple for newbies like me to understand. Well done Mkaazi Real Estate!

    Reply

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