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What Expats Need to Know About The Rental Market in Nairobi

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 1:52 PM By Koch Properties

Rental Market in Nairobi: What Expats Need to Know

Introduction - Real Estate Investors

Nairobi, the bustling and vibrant capital city of Kenya, has captivated the attention of expats worldwide who are seeking new and exciting opportunities, rich cultural experiences, and thrilling adventures.

As an expat contemplating a move to Nairobi, it is crucial to gain a comprehensive understanding of the Nairobi Rental Market, which plays a pivotal role in shaping your living experience.

In this engaging blog, we will not only explore the Best Areas for Expats in Nairobi but also delve deeper into the dynamics of the Nairobi Rental Market, shedding light on the intricacies and providing valuable insights.

Additionally, we will illustrate the potential Return on Investment (ROI) for an Off-Plan Apartment in Nairobi, showcasing the promising prospects that await those who choose to invest in this vibrant city.

Get ready to embark on an informative journey that will equip you with the knowledge you need to make informed decisions and unlock the extraordinary opportunities that Nairobi has to offer.

Best Areas for Expats - Real Estate Investment

Nairobi is a diverse city with neighborhoods that cater to different needs and lifestyles. Here are some of the best areas for expats to consider when looking for Nairobi Rental Properties

Karen Nairobi:

  • Karen, a suburb nestled in Nairobi, is renowned for its lush greenery, serene atmosphere, and picturesque beauty. Experience an idyllic escape from the bustling city as you embrace a slower pace of life in this peaceful enclave. With spacious homes and an abundance of Nairobi International Schools, Karen has become a sought-after destination for expat families seeking a nurturing environment for their children. Whether you're exploring enchanting nature trails or immersing yourself in vibrant local culture, Karen offers a truly unique and fulfilling experience for residents and visitors alike.

Westlands Nairobi:

  • Located in the heart of Nairobi, Westlands is a trendy neighborhood that captivates both locals and visitors. With its vibrant atmosphere, modern appeal, and a plethora of options for dining, shopping, and entertainment, Westlands is the perfect choice for young professionals and individuals seeking an exciting and lively community. Experience the urban charm and dynamic energy of Westlands, and discover why it's the top choice for those seeking a vibrant lifestyle in Nairobi. Explore trendy cafes, restaurants, shopping centers, and boutiques in this vibrant neighborhood.

Lavington Nairobi:

  • Lavington, a highly sought-after neighborhood, offers a wide range of expat-friendly apartments and luxurious villas to suit diverse lifestyles. With a focus on exceptional safety measures, this area provides peace of mind to residents, particularly families with children attending prestigious international schools in close proximity. Whether you prefer the convenience of apartment living or the grandeur of a lavish villa, Lavington provides the ideal setting for a comfortable and secure lifestyle.

Gigiri Nairobi:

  • Located in close proximity to the United Nations complex, Gigiri is a prestigious diplomatic enclave known for its exceptional location. With a vibrant and cosmopolitan community, Gigiri attracts expats from all walks of life. It is home to numerous embassies and international organizations, making it an ideal destination for individuals seeking a thriving global hub to work and reside in. Discover the captivating blend of cultural diversity and professional opportunities that Gigiri offers.

Kilimani Nairobi:

  • Kilimani: A vibrant and bustling neighborhood, attracting a diverse expat community with its unique charm. Explore a variety of rental options, from cozy apartments to spacious houses, catering to different preferences and budgets. Discover Kilimani's renowned nightlife, trendy cafes, restaurants, and shops for a vibrant and convenient lifestyle. Whether you're looking for a place to live or simply exploring the area, Kilimani offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Nairobi Rental Market Overview - Real Estate Investor

The Nairobi Rental Market has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by a growing demand for rental properties from both locals and expats as well as middle income earners.

The current market trends indicate that the average rent prices have increased by 10-15% in the last two years. This trend is expected to continue as more expats move to Nairobi and the city's economy continues to thrive.

With a variety of residential properties options available, including apartments, villas, and townhouses, expats can easily find a rental property that suits their budget and lifestyle.

Nairobi Rental Prices can vary significantly based on location, Nairobi Property Types, and size. Here are some key aspects of the rental market:

  • Property Types: Nairobi offers a range of property types, including apartments, townhouses, and standalone homes. Apartments are popular among expats due to their convenience and security features.
  • Pricing: Rental prices can range from affordable to high-end, with higher prices in areas like Karen and Lavington. On average, a two-bedroom apartment can range from Kshs 40,000 to Kshs 150,000 per month, depending on the neighborhood.
  • Lease Terms: Most rentals in Nairobi require a one-year lease, with landlords often requiring two months' rent as a deposit.
  • Security: Nairobi Rental Property Security is a top priority for expats. Gated communities and apartments with 24/7 security services are widely available.

Return on Investment (ROI) Example

Suppose you're an expat looking to invest in an off-plan apartment in Nairobi. Let's take a look at a hypothetical ROI scenario for an apartment selling at Kshs 5,500,000

  • Purchase Price: Kshs 5,500,000
  • Monthly Rental Income: Let's assume a conservative Nairobi Rental Income of Kshs 40,000.

To calculate ROI, we need to consider the annual rental income and other expenses like property management, taxes, and maintenance. Assuming an annual rental income of Kshs 480,000 and annual expenses totaling Kshs 80,000, the net annual income is Kshs 400,000.

ROI in Nairobi Off-Plan Apartments = (Net Annual Income / Purchase Price) 100

ROI = (Kshs 400,000 / Kshs 5,500,000) 100 = 7.27%

In this example, the estimated Nairobi Rental ROI for the off-plan apartment is approximately 7.27%. Keep in mind that this is a simplified calculation and doesn't account for potential property appreciation over time.


As an expat considering a move to Nairobi, or to venture in to the real estate business in Nairobi, understanding the rental market is crucial to make an informed decision about your housing options. Nairobi's diverse neighborhoods offer something for everyone, from bustling city centers to tranquil residential areas.

The rental market is dynamic, with various property types and price points to choose from, including modern apartments, charming townhouses, and spacious villas. When considering investment opportunities like off-plan apartments, it's essential to conduct thorough research and consult with local experts to make sound financial decisions.

With its growing economy and vibrant real estate market, property investment in Nairobi can be a rewarding opportunity for expats who approach it with the right knowledge and guidance. Explore the Nairobi Real Estate Market to discover a wide range of properties and enjoy a fulfilling expat life in Nairobi with the right information and guidance.

Immerse yourself in the unique culture, vibrant food scene, and natural beauty that Nairobi has to offer, all while making a wise investment in your future.