A developer has broken ground to begin the construction of an apartment block on Brookside Drive in Nairobi's affluent Westlands suburb, at a cost of about Sh0.6 billion. Coral Savannah Ltd will build the 36 units - 19 two-bedroom and 17 three-bedroom - luxury apartments for sale, targeting owner-occupiers and buy-to-let investors who will tap into a huge demand by expatriates.
The development, sitting on 0.6 acres and christened 717 Brookside Drive, is scheduled for completion by end of 2015, with the offer price pegged at Sh25 million and Sh35 million respectively. "The footprint is small therefore lots of green spaces," said Jimmy Kamotho of Limojade Management, the project manager.
The title deeds are on 99-year sub-leases starting 2013. The storeyed building will have an entertainment roof terrace hosting a club house and a swimming pool. Each of the units will have a semi-detached servant quarters, borehole water supply, solar water-heating system, wi-fi internet cabling and two parking slots.
"Only a few properties in this market offer the high-end luxury living of a serene suburb with the convenience of a nearby bustling commercial hub; it is a rare find," the developer said yesterday.
All the two-bedroom units and 10 three-bedroom units were sold off-plan over the past three to four weeks.
"Off-plan sales is still very much a reality if the concept is unique; a differentiated product from what is in the market," Kamotho said.
A high demand from expatriates has resulted in 'bidding wars', keeping average rents for high-end homes in Nairobi's upmarket suburbs rising.
"Demand is evidently there," said Kamotho.
Alec Smith, accommodation services manager at ECA International, a global provider of data, knowledge and solutions for management and assignment of expatriates, "Nairobi is proving an increasingly attractive location for business", with many multinational firms setting up regional operating headquarters in the city.
"Competition for accommodation is fierce, and with large sections of housing occupied by UN staff, bidding wars are common," he says.
Knight Frank's Prime Global Rental Index showed rents in Nairobi edged up the highest among 16 cities ranked in 2012, jumping by 17.9 per cent.
High-end rentals are priced from Sh250,000 a month in Nairobi, with a four-bedroom executive house in an upmarket residential location let at about $4,400 (Sh381,480) per month. Landlords get about six per cent in rental yields.
The city's affluent residential estates in high demand include Runda, Roselyn, Muthaiga, Karen, Westlands, Lavington, Kileleshwa, Loresho and Upper Hill.