How super-rich’s appetite for luxury drives up home costs

How super-rich’s appetite for luxury drives up home costs

Kenyan property dealers’ penchant for luxurious and exclusive residences in the cities of Nairobi and Mombasa has strummed an interesting high price chord.

Cytonn Investment’s Sh1 billion Amara Ridge gated community in Nairobi’s Karen where 10 villas were built on a half-acre parcel each was snapped up five months before its completion.

Each unit sold at an average of Sh100 million with those opting to buy in cash parting with Sh95 million, instalment purchasers paid Sh105 million while those who sought mortgages were charged Sh118 million.

China Jiangsu Construction Company’s Sh5 billion investment – Sultan Palace beachfront residences – in which six of the 11 one-storeyed villas have been sold at Sh80 million each, sits on 43 acres boasting a 700-metre long frontage to the Indian Ocean at Kikambala, Kilifi County.

According to the firm’s website, buyers will enjoy access to five swimming pools, a waterpark, round-the-clock security as well as a fully equipped gym and a clubhouse.

Standalone town houses with three bedrooms have been priced at Sh36 million while one- and two- bedroom apartments built on multi-storeyed blocks are going for Sh10 million and Sh20 million respectively.

Homes are slowly becoming the new currency and an expression of opulence. The super-rich want to reside in homes that reveal the trappings of luxury.

“The rise of luxurious homes has been facilitated by the growing middle class, who are willing to pay premium prices for high-end houses. Developers are tapping into this market segment, which has a higher spending power, by constructing houses with quality finishes and fittings with a modern feel,” said Mr Dan Karua, managing director of real estate portal Lamudi Kenya.

An earlier research by estate agents Knight Frank and Citi Private Wealth Fund found that Nairobi had the most prime residential market in the world. The high-end residential bubble continues to rise despite critics regularly predicting its doom.

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