Serviced apartments outperform hotels in Nairobi market

George Sell George Sell Uploaded 13 February 2019

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Kenya: A report by realtor Vaal Real Estate says serviced apartments in Nairobi saw a three-year average occupancy of 72 per cent compared to a 52 per cent average for hotels.

The reports says international companies operating in Kenya are driving demand for serviced apartments as they seek to host their staff in upmarket parts of the capital over the period of their work.

"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 home cooked 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," said Vaal Real Estate sales manager Prit Shah.

Nairobi had 4,582 serviced apartment units in 2018, nearly twice the number in 2013, with Westlands supplying 37 per cent of these due to its status as a popular business hub as well as its offerings of entertainment and social amenities. Kilimani is the second largest hub for serviced apartments at 28 per cent.

The Central Business District (CBD) and Upper Hill have nine and six per cent of the inventory respectively despite their access to a corporate clientele base.

For the CBD, Vaal's report says development and occupation of serviced apartments is hindered by congestion and infrastructure stagnation. Branded serviced apartments are beginning to have an impact on the market with global brands such as Best Western, Radisson and Movenpick all having a presence.

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