Getting a piece of land in Marsabit town or its outcasts is a great challenge. Once shunned by investors due to its insecurity and constant inter-ethical conflicts, Marsabit Town is quickly becoming an economic hub due to the infrastructure projects taking place in the region.
With only a small space left for development, more and more investors are rushing to acquire land within the fast growing town. Landowners have taken this advantage, increased the price of the available land.
Rising land prices in Marsabit town
Just two years ago, a plot of 100 feet by 50 feet within Marsabit Town was going at Sh 4 million. Currently, this same piece of land goes at Sh 10 million. This means that to get an acre, if that would even be possible, one would have to part with almost sh. 80 million.
There are probably two main reasons why investors are rushing to acquire land in Marsabit town and consequently increasing land prices.
Why investors are rushing to Marsabit
First, the construction of Merille-Marsabit-Moyale road is causing investors want to come and exploit the region. The transport system is developing tremendously with public vehicles establishing new routes that would cater for residents.
Secondly, Marsabit town is currently boasting modern hotels with conference facilities and accommodation suites. Entertainment joints within the town have also increased. These reasons make investors keener and desire to take advantage of the town’s growing population.
Effect of the Merille-Marsabit-Moyale highway
Mr. Adam Koje, a land broker in Marsabit, recently confirmed that the opening of the new highway had been the primary attraction point to property developers. He said that investors are always on the standby waiting to hear an announcement of land sales. Once a landowner announces a sale, these investors compete to outdo each other on who among them would turn out as the highest bidder and consequently win the sellers’ attention.
Mr. Abdullahi Hassan, Marsabit County’s director of survey said that the county lacks land valuers who could help to shape investment and control land prices. “Nobody can tell another how much to sell their land…” says Mr. Hassan. He says that landowners are the valuers of their own land and buyer would still go as high as the sellers want them to go. Mr. Hassan says that the rate at which locals are seeking land ownership documents is very high. When he compares the current trend to the past years, Mr. Hassan says that in the past people never bothered to get their title deeds since land was not a bid deal to them. “…However, today people have seen how valuable land is and with the rate at which the town is expanding, they feel threatened.”
Landowners in Marsabit not selling their land
Despite these tremendous increase in land prices, most land owners are however not willing to sell their land to foreign investors. Some investors have said that most landowners within the region would only release their land to their fellow tribesmen but would not sell it people who are from outside regions. Most local residents fear that other communities would soon take over their town, and so they hike prices so as to continue holding on them.