Housing Finance in Kenya

Overview

This profile is also available in French here.

To download a pdf version of the full 2019 Kenya country profile, click here.

As one of the leading economies in the East African region, Kenya is viewed as an economic, commercial, financial and logistics hub in the region, offering a critical connection to the East and Central African markets.

In the recently concluded population census, the country’s population was estimated at 47.6 million in 2019, with 26.6 percent of this population residing in urban areas. The country’s urbanisation rate of 4.3 percent, mainly driven by rural-urban migration. This increase in urban population has resulted in increased pressure on urban amenities and services including water, power, sewerage systems, transport, land and housing in urban areas.

Banks are the main providers of mortgage finance in Kenya, though the bulk of mortgages is provided by a few lenders. Other critical actors in the country’s financial sector are Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) which provide nearly 90 percent of housing finance in the country. Mortgage markets are however limited, as a result of limited supply of long-term capital, complex legal and regulatory framework and collateral requirements, insufficient credit risk information, particularly on the informal incomes, and inefficient land and property registration processes.

Housing production in the country is estimated at 50 000 units a year, which is well below the annual demand of 200 000 housing units. Housing affordability continues to be a key challenge in Kenya given the current high cost of funding and unavailability of financing, amid rising property prices.

Affordable housing remains one of the key growth pillars for promoting long-term economic development. To achieve the goals outlined in this pillar, the Government of Kenya established the Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company (KMRC) and the establishment of the National Housing Development Fund (NHDF). The Kenyan government is also reviewing its public-private partnership framework to enable fast-tracking of the approval processes of housing projects and to accommodate new approaches, such as joint ventures and land swaps.

It is expected that Kenya’s residential sector will continue growing on the back of an improved mortgage market following the launch of KMRC and policy and legislative support through the State’s Affordable Housing Program. Further investments in infrastructural development, particularly in the main cities, also promise to promote a more conducive environment for the housing sector to thrive.

Find out more information on the housing finance sector of Kenya, including key stakeholders, important policies and housing affordability:


Each year, CAHF publishes its Housing Finance in Africa Yearbook. The profile above is from the 2019 edition, which has up-to-date profiles for 55 African countries.

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