Multinationals drive office space demand

Multinational firms with offices in Nairobi include vehicle assemblers Toyota and Isuzu. FILE PHOTO | NMG

High-end office sales in Nairobi grew by 41 percent in the second half of 2019 on the back of increased demand by multinationals looking for a base for regional operations.

Realtor Knight Frank said in their market report for the second half of last year that provision of serviced offices enabled multinational firms to move in fast and start operations as opposed to past traditions where global companies bought land in to build their regional headquarters.

“This trend of fewer but large transactions is expected to continue in 2020 as Nairobi’s stature as a commercial hub and a favorite location for multinationals looking for regional headquarters grow. The commercial market is slowly beginning to recover,” the firm said.

Multinational firms with offices in Nairobi include the World Bank, lenders Citi and Standard Chartered, vehicle assemblers Toyota and Isuzu, IT giants Microsoft, IBM, Asus and Cisco, beverage makers Coca Cola and Nestle’ as well as German agrochemical manufacturer BASF among others.

Retail space demand which had endured a slow first half of the year owing to oversupply also recorded some recovery in the second half as increased take-up of space in malls by international brands helped shore up occupancy that stood at 77 percent on average with more established malls enjoying 90 percent occupancy.

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