Real estate agents are now required to register with the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in order to operate. The Ministry will be issuing registration cards and codes as part of its efforts to guard against existing loopholes in the agency business. The registration process is expected to begin in September and is anticipated to provide a comprehensive electronic database through which members of the public will be able to easily confirm whether they are dealing with genuine agents. Though the existing Estate Agents Act (1984) clearly stipulates qualifications for practitioners and the governing codes, the industry is still porous to rogue agents that have been fleecing unsuspecting customers. This is an indicator that the Act isn’t effective, which explains this move by Ministry of Lands to increase transparency in the operations of the real estate sector.
This week, Mt. Kenya University received approval from Nakuru County to embark on a Kshs. 2 bn project geared towards expanding their University facility to include student hostels and other amenities such as a study complex and a shopping mall. The project is aimed at providing affordable housing for students so as to ease the current accommodation pressure caused by increased university intakes.
This move by Mt. Kenya University echoes the actions of other higher learning institutions who are actively seeking investors and partnering with developers to meet this shortage. There has also been an increase of developments in areas surrounding universities as developers scramble to put up residential, commercial and retail facilities which will act as supporting developments for the universities.
It is our expectation that the continued expansion of higher learning institutions will, on a macro level, impact the real estate industry by catalyzing the growth of new towns, which will be anchored on the institutions themselves.