Posted  Monday, September 19  2011 at  19:17

Rising cost of steel across the globe is pushing up the cost of construction in Kenya.

This has seen a number of contractors adjust their unit costs to factor in the rise that has come in the wake of other increases.

“There has been a trickle down effect on the prices that people buy property in the country. We have seen the cost of steel go up significantly,” Mrs Jackie Kiaraho, managing director of Upmarket Realtors, said on Monday.

Steel has in the recent past become a major component of the country’s building and construction industry.

A number of developers are now using more steel in construction to ensure more stable structures.

Due to growing demand of property, both residential and commercial, some unscrupulous developers rush through buildings without adhering to proper standards.

This has resulted in fatalities as some of the buildings collapse, killing many people.

“Steel guarantees the stability of the structure. We are seeing more developers taking to it. This is good for the industry since we are assured of safe buildings,” said Mrs Kiaraho on the sidelines of an open day at River Garden apartments in Nairobi.

The apartments are built with steel and concrete only, as a pilot project expected to be replicated in other developments.

In addition to the rise in land and cement costs, developers are also reeling from the weakening shilling that is threatening their profit margins.

The shilling has in the past week hit historical highs against the dollar, at Sh96.