Meru County is among the counties with the highest number of registered voters with 702480 registered voters as we head towards the August polls. This big number of registered voters is giving political aspirants sleepless nights as they crisscross the county looking for the votes. In this article, we want to look at how these numbers have a higher bargaining power and how the August polls will impact real estate market in Meru.
Facts about Meru
Meru is one of the counties in the larger Eastern region of Kenya. The County is made up of nine constituencies: Igembe south, Igembe central, Igembe north, Tigania west ,Tigania east, North Imenti, Buuri, Central Imenti, and South Imenti.
The governor of the county is Hon. Kiraitu Murungi, Deputy Governor Hon Titus Ntuchiu, Senator is Hon. Mithika Linturi, county commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga and women representative Kawira Mwangaza. It shares it border with 5 other counties: Isiolo County to the north, Nyeri County to the southwest, Tharaka nithi to the southwest and Laikipia to the west. The origin of the word ‘Meru’ is believed to come from the Maasai people who referred to Tigania and Imenti forests as Mieru forests or simply quiet forests.
Places to visit in Meru
Meru has a variety of tourist attraction sites that have influenced investments in various sectors hence impacting on the real estate sector in the county. Some of the sites include:
- Meru National Park
- Ngare Ndare Forest Park
- Giitune Sacred Forest
- Nyambene National Reserve Conservancy
- Kiathandi Hills
- Nyambene Hills Peak
- Lake Nkunga
Meru Town is the headquarters of Meru County and sixth largest urban center in the country. Lying next to the Kathita River which cuts through the town, Meru town is the commercial and administrative center of the county. It is mostly agricultural and business center and takes pride in having one of the largest open air markets in the region. Some of the other major urban centers in Meru include Nkubu Town, Timau Town and Laare.
Real estate market in Meru Town has been on a boom phase due to various factors such as:
- Banks among them the central bank of Kenya currency center to serve the region and over 20 branches from different commercial banks. The town has several micro finance firms such as The Meru County, KWFT, Sidian and Postbank that pose a great impact to growing investments in the region.
- Shopping as the town is served by number of leading supermarkets chains which include Naivas and many others.
- Horticultural business which has thrived in the region as the county is known for its large miraa business.
Estates in Meru
As stated earlier, Meru real estate sector has been growing rapidly in the recent past thanks to the large population of the county. This has led to establishment of many settlements estates across the constituencies. Some of the estates in Meru include:
- DJ Lubz Estate
- Darima Estate
- Njeru Estate
Meru Real Estate Market
Findings indicate that the factors that have led to high prices in the real estate sector in Meru County include improved transport networks, improved social amenities, industries, expanded educational institutions and commercial centers.
Azimio coalition has promised Meru residents growth of trade in the county. According to ODM Party Boss Raila Odinga, he will search for new markets for miraa that will encourage produce. William Ruto also visited Meru. As he addressed the crowd, he promised they will find new markets for miraa growers so that farmers can sell their produce at good prices. They will also help the farmers adopt new management practices that increase miraa quality and yield. This key promises will attract large population in the county which will be aiming to look for employment in the miraa plantations. This large population will hence create high demand for housing leading to growth in real estate market in Meru.
Hotels in Meru
Meru has a number of tourist attraction sites that have led to demand for hotel accommodation facilities. Some of the hotel accommodation facilities that are shaping real estate market in Meru include:
- Meru Slopes Hotel
- Three Steers Hotel
- Gatimene Gardens
- The Hotel Ezri
- Meru Safari Hotel
- Westwind Hotel
Roads in Meru
The major tarmac roads in the county include: the Embu-Meru -Maua road, the Meru – Nanyuki road, the Meru – Mikinduri road, and the Meru-Githogo road.
In Meru town, the Eastern bypass connects to Maua junction at Kaaga area, while the Western bypass runs from the Meru National Polytechnic to Gikumene. The construction of the Sh1.5 billion (US$2 million) road is also complete to accelerate economic growth and reduce traffic jams in Meru town. Urban roads are key enablers of economic growth and have productive inter linkages with other socio-economic activities such as industrial, services, agricultural, commercial and social institutions—they can even connect to households. These are legacy projects by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Construction sector in Meru
Some of the construction projects undertaken in Meru that have shaped real estate market in Meru. Among them are:
- Meru Level 5 Hospital Cancer Ward
- Completion of Kinoru Stadium
Meru being a vote rich county is among the counties with booming real estate growth after the August polls. It is currently perceived to be a Kenya Kwanza stronghold despite some of the key leaders in the area supporting Azimio la Umoja. Issues will unravel after the August polls to see whether the real estate market in Meru will grow or not.