Mekele sees spike in housing prices


People have been flocking to Mekele from other parts of the country and landlords have responded by increasing rental prices as much as 70 percent.
People living in Mekele told Capital that a 175 square meter plot of land which would have cost 1.5 million birr three years ago now goes for over 3 million birr.
In some locations such as Hawleti, 18 kebele, and Adi Shenhun landlords have increased their rental prices by at least 100 percent. One room that is five by four meters could cost 2,700 birr per month.
Residents who were paying 2,000- 3,000 birr for two room for residential housing are now finding landlords demanding 5,000 birr. Villa houses are going for 10,000 compared with 7,000 birr previously.
The city which had less than 400,000 people two years ago has seen its population skyrocket to 600,000 thus increasing housing demand.
Solomn Tadesse a public relations officer at the Tigray Urban Development and Trade and Industry Bureau told Capital that the increase is happening as people come to Mekele because of instability elsewhere.
“Due to the instability in some parts of the country many people who born in Tigray are coming to Mekele to secure a safe place for them and their family, this has led to an increase in housing prices as a government we have a plan, we are trying to register people for land and housing.”
Residents fear housing prices will continue their sharp rise if something isn’t done soon.
A young man who requested anonymity said:
“With the growing population and lack of a proper housing strategy to meet the demand, Mekele’s rental market is not a level playing field. The majority of renters struggle to keep up with the pace and spend thousands birr in rent to secure a roof over their heads.”
“As far as we know it is the basic law of economics wherever demand outstrips supply, the price of the commodity including houses rises and this is what happening. We always advise them to settle for what people can afford to pay,” he said.
In the past three years the Mekele City Administration gave land to over 18,000 people who wanted to build a G+1 house on 74 square meters of land.