Apart from growth of the middle-class and high net-worth individuals with sophisticated tastes, aspiration lifestyles and increased disposable incomes have created a market for affluent products
Milliam Murigi @millymur1
Local developers are now preferring to invest in luxury projects because of the high returns associated with such investments.
According to Cytonn real estate research, the Nairobi Luxury Apartments Market developments generated total returns to investors of 13.1per cent per annum in 2017 (a rental yield of 8.1 per cent and price appreciation of five per cent), compared to the residential market average of 5.4 per cent in 2017 and 2.8 per cent by Quarter Two 2018.
“The returns are boosted by premium rents that luxury homes attract as a result of the amenities and high-quality levels of finishing,” said John Denge, Cytonn real estate, Senior Manager, Regional Markets.
Apart from the growth of the middle-class as well as high net-worth individuals with sophisticated tastes, aspiration lifestyles and increased disposable incomes has also created a market for luxury products. “More developers are likely to continue investing in luxury products given the above factors. However, developers of luxury products ought to differentiate their products, especially in terms of amenities, quality and design, given the increased supply in middle-class and high-end units in the market, to attract their target clientele,” said Denge.
This was revealed after local real estate agency HassConsult announced a luxury development joint venture with the family of the late Kenya government minister, Munyua Waiyaki, which will see the development of 450 apartment units, on 22 acres of land owned by the family.
The Sh10 billion project located along Redhill Road, Kiambu county, will have one, two, three, and four-bedroom apartments with prices ranging from Sh15 million, Sh20 million, Sh40 million and Sh80 million, respectively. Studio apartments are priced from Sh6 to Sh10 million.
The Mixed-use Development dubbed Enaki is slated to break ground mid-2019 and will include a hotel, retail, and high-end amenities such as an amphitheatre, a floating restaurant and a public botanical garden.
Unveiling the project, HassConsult CEO Farhana Hassanali-Hashmani said each home will be designed with a specific demographic in mind and all of them will be served by on-call staff and restaurants. Each design will be driven by the specific needs of residents at different points in the life cycle.
Hemingways Watamu Hotel Operations Manager, Melinda Rees, says luxury apartments are attractive to tourists and investors are now subleasing them to hotels. On their part, hotels are converting their hotel rooms into apartments as a way of diversifying their income to cushion against low tourism seasons.
Hemingways Watamu has converted its 50 hotel rooms into 21 luxury homes being sold on a 99-year lease. “This trend will continue to be seen in the luxury market as the market becomes more sophisticated and hotels diversify their products. Tourists are now travelling with families and want the luxury of also having to cook some meals for themselves apart from getting everything from restaurants,” said Rees.
And in Mombasa last November, Deputy President William Ruto launched a Sh2 billion ultramodern 13-storey Nyali Golf View Residence owned by Mount Kenya University founder and chairman, Simon Gicharu. The development has a state-of-the-art gymnasium and swimming pool.
Dr Benedict Mutuku, who is the CEO of Goldwyne Consult which is managing the Nyali Golf View Residence, said holiday apartments help plug demand for beds in Mombasa during peak seasons.
According to Denge, apartments for the upmarket segments has been increasing because zoning regulations have been relaxed due to increasing land prices yet such developments still provide the prestige and exclusivity sought by affluent individuals.