AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE IMPACT OF LAND USE CHANGE ON THE REAL ESTATE MARKET: A CASE STUDY OF PIONEER/NGERIA IN UASIN GISHU COUNTY

ABSTRACT
Land use change, especially agricultural land conversions to other uses in the urban fringes,
has been prevalent in various parts of Kenya including Kitale, Thika, Kisumu and Eldoret.
In Uasin Gishu County, it has been more pronounced in Pioneer/Ngeria whereby wheat and
maize farmlands are being developed with residential estates. This was therefore chosen as
the study area owing to the witnessed large-scale agricultural land conversions.
Real estate markets are mainly reliant on the nature of land uses in an area hence land use
change has a resultant impact on real estate markets. This study examines the impacts
brought about by agricultural land use change specifically on the real estate market. Issues
addressed include the aspects of well functioning real estate markets; legislations guiding
land use planning and land use change; land use change process; the factors considered in
granting or refusing permission for land use change; and the impact of land use change on the
real estate market.
The methodology employed by the researcher in the study included the administration of
three sets of questionnaires to a sample of resident land owners, property valuers and estate
agents in the study area. Scheduled interviews were also done on the relevant professionals
involved in the land use change process within Uasin Gishu County. The study established
that the physical development plan for Uasin Gishu County is outdated while the land use
plan is not adhered to and the records for land use change are poorly stored hence making it
difficult to account for the extent of land use change. It also established that agricultural land
use change in the study area is very prevalent with positive impacts to the real estate market.
Land development in the area increased rapidly with land owners reporting higher incomes
from their properties after converting and developing them with residential and commercial
buildings. The land values and prices tremendously went up and the frequency of land
transactions increased thus creating the need and wide acceptability of real estate services
including investment appraisal, property management, estate agency and property valuation.
These developments lead to provision of mains services including water, electricity and
sewerage to the study area as well as infrastructure such as roads.
The study recommends for the preparation of a physical development plan for Uasin Gishu
County, adequate and effective policy formulation on land use, creation of a well documented
information management system, capacity building and good governance.