Lamu is one of the counties in Kenya with greatest potential of booming real estate market. Recent major infrastructural developments such as completion of the Lamu port have greatly impacted the real estate market in Lamu. With the August 2022 general elections around the corner, we expect some impact in the real estate sector in the coastal county.
Facts about Lamu County
- Lamu Island dates back to 14th century when it was known as a traditional Swahili settlement.
- Lamu Old Town is one of the oldest towns in Kenya and comprises mainly of ancient architecture.
- Lamu is located 241km northeast of Mombasa.
- Lamu County covers 6474 km2
Places to visit in Lamu
Some of the popular attractions in Lamu include:
- Takwa Ruins
- Lamu Fort
- Siyu Fort
- The Donkey Sanctuary
- Lamu Meseum
- Lake Kenyatta
The above attraction sites have greatly impacted on the real estate market in Lamu especially in the zones where they are located.
Various hotel accommodation facilities are established in the areas to serve the great demand of the facilities by tourists visiting the county.
Lamu town is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Kenya. It attracts tourists from all over the world due to its beautiful beaches, friendly people and unique culture that can only be found in Lamu town. The majority of the population are Muslims who speak Swahili as their first language but also have some knowledge of English and Arabic
Estates in Lamu
Some of the residential estates in Lamu are:
- Manda Ras Kitau
- Lamu Old Stone Town
- Manda Settlement
- Lamu Mashambani
Lamu Real Estate Market
The operation of the Lamu Port project has spurred a surge of investors in Lamu’s mainland area, with both local and non-indigenous people taking interest in the county’s booming real estate market. Once considered sleepy areas, Lamu’s Mokowe and Hindi areas are undergoing a transformation as commercial and residential rental units pop up around the towns to meet the demand of housing that surrounds the port area.
A quick survey of land prices in Lamu’s mainland area of Mokowe, which is the new County Government Administrative Headquarters, reveals that a one-acre piece of land was sold for Sh 250,000 some years back. Today, it costs at least Sh 2.4 million if it is close to the newly tarmacked township roads.
The Kenya Urban Roads Authority has also invested Sh 1 billion to develop a 15-kilometre township road linked to the Lamu-Witu-Garsen road and with it, surrounding land parcels have also skyrocketed.
Political aspirant Raila Odinga in his agenda of trade said his government will work on ways in which Lamu port will link the East Africa Region to oversea regions through the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean. His number two is that Lamu county has been chosen as one of the towns that will be changed to become a city. This will greatly boost the real estate market in Lamu.
On the otherside ,the Deputy President Dr.William Samoei Ruto has promised the residents of Lamu that he will support low income earners through the bottom up economic model. If implemented it may enable potential young investors acquire faster loans that may lead to growth of businesses. This will in turn encourage development of infrastructure which will result to rapid growth of real estate market in Lamu.
Hotels in Lamu
There are several hotels in Lamu County that have really impacted the real estate market of the area.
Some of the hotels include the following:
- Banana House and Wellness Centre
- Lamu House Hotel
- Jua House
- Msafini Hotel
- Jannat House
- Subira House
Roads in Lamu
The state has spent over 25 billion on roads in Lamu. A 15 km road covers covers Hingi to Kiunga while another 100km road covers Ijara to Hulugho in Garissa County currently.The two roads compliment Lamu-Watu-Garsen road which is also crucial in promoting the real estate market in Lamu.
The road network in Lamu County has significantly improved the economy of the area. It has also paved way for progress in various sectors affecting real estate such as housing, tourism and trade.
The road network also helped improve tourism because it has provided easier access to beaches located along Lamu Island and Manda Bay Beach Resort on Lamu Island. This made it easier for tourists to explore Lamu Island and enjoy its beauty without travelling long distances between locations.
Construction Sector in Lamu
According to the current Governor Fahim Twaha, the Jubilee party has high chances of carrying the day due to the numerous development projects undertaken in the county under the current regime.
Lamu port construction in Kenya’s Coastal Region has seen three berths completed and has started operations. It has specialized in handling containers and oil cargo between the East African hinterland and the rest of the world.
Despite being allocated billions of shillings in funding for its projects, Lamu County is still a long way from being completed. Some of the projects in question are more than five years behind schedule, while others have been abandoned altogether. The Manda Airport renovations and expansion project has been delayed by over five years and its fate remains unknown; meanwhile, the Mpeketoni Customs Jetty renovations were abandoned after only a few months’ work was completed. The Lamu Technical Training Institute at Hongwe remains unfinished despite receiving Sh84 million from the county government.
Lamu residents remain hopeful on implementation of the stalled projects which will be key to rapidly impact on the real estate market in Lamu.The question remains to be whether any of the winning presidential candidates will act on the stalled projects.