Not even bruising court battles have stopped investors from scrambling to purchase land near Tatu City in Kiambu County. Prospective investors and speculators are tripping over each other for now scarce parcels next to the proposed Sh200 billion real estate project.

Some have lost fortunes as bogus estate agents swindle unsuspecting buyers as Kiambu County gears up as the next big thing in real estate, one expected to house 62,000 residents in well planned homes.

Other developments included office blocks, shopping malls and industrial parks only synonymous to Sandton City in the suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa Back home, Tatu City was to sit on a 1,035 hectares of land currently occupied by coffee plantations  — behind Kenyatta University.

Owners of parcels of land in Ruiru and its environs are laughing to the bank even as the mega project is embroiled in legal battles over shareholders. And prospective investors in Ruiru are also gearing up for another multi-billion shilling project dubbed the North Land City.

Currently, prices of land in the area have more than doubled over the past five months as private developers elbow each other for space. Property analysts believe that developers are rushing to ride on the expected state of the art infrastructure to come with Tatu.

Currently, prices of parcels of land have increased to slightly over 300 per cent and counting as real estate agents pitch camp in Ruiru and its environs. Kenyan Macharia director of Brilliant Ventures, a real estate firm,  says the cost of one eighth acre plots shot from Sh500,000 five months ago to Sh1.3 million.

The effects have also extended to Juja town, which is currently experiencing a construction boom. “Areas adjacent Tatu have increased from Sh800,000 to Sh2 million per one eighth of an acre over the same period,” Macharia says.Some investors are buying larger portions of land and sub dividing these into one-eighth and quarter-acre plots held for speculation.

He says residential real estate developments in Kiambu are also having direct effects on values of property in Ruiru.Today, property owners in Ruiru use the name of the mega project to attract buyers of plots and tenants.“Sellers say their property is in Ruiru (adjacent to Tatu City) towards appealing to savvy buyers,” Macharia says.According to Macharia, the completion of construction of the Northern by pass that connects the Eastern by pass in the area is a plus.

“Plots in areas around Tatu are accessible from either Kiambu which connects from Kamiti or Thika Road,” Macharia says.According to Ruiru Town Clerk Lesley Khayadi, expansion of the Thika Road super highway has changed the face of the area.

“There is a boom of residential houses but we (the municipality) are keen on regulating growth,” Khayadi says.Unfortunately, impostors are also on the loose and buyers are advised to hire conveyancers (registered property lawyers) to act for them.Generally, conveyancers take caution in transactions by acting in the best interest of  clients as professional ethics demands.

But swindlers use names of registered law firms to draw agreements for sale and to dupe unsuspecting clients. They search for names of registered law firms from the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) website, which they assume to make their acts real.

 Furthermore, they up their game by printing fake identity cards and title deeds which cannot be discerned by the naked eye.

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