Mizizi Africa Homes projects increased activities in the real estate sector over the next quarter with positive prospects on affordable housing provision with a phased re-opening of the economy.
The developer observes that the lock down measure recently undertaken by the government in order to check the spread of coronavirus had forced many players in the sector to cut down on the number of workers on sites. It had also disrupted supply chains including intermittent access to construction material shops, hence adversely affecting the project delivery timelines.
“We expect most activities to gradually return to optimum levels to correct longer development periods, a situation we have been pushed into by the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Mizizi Africa Homes operations director, George Mburu. “A longer lockdown period meant that developer operational costs of completing housing units also rose on reduced incomes. This situation if sustained would have threatened sustainability and existence of developers,” he adds.
Subdued economic activities also meant that instalment collections for off-plan units were slightly disrupted on account of delayed payments as investors became risk averse. An estimated 300,000 people in the country have lost their jobs since Kenya reported its first case of coronavirus in March. It is also projected that many more Kenyans could be left jobless over the next six months.
“Gradual re-opening of the economy should be able to reverse the adverse effects on job losses, savings and investment funds held by potential home-owners,” Mburu further says.
Despite the negative impact of the pandemic on the real estate sector, Mizizi Africa remains optimistic that it will take an upward trajectory, especially due to the commitment and concerted efforts towards affordable housing provision by the government and private sector players.