Duplex apartments are becoming more appealing to affluent renters in Mombasa compared to the old bungalows built on big plots.
Most of the renters of duplex apartments are expatriates, holiday makers and business travellers.
Paul Kinoti, director at ACL Real Estate Consultants, says the demand for duplex apartments in Mombasa has been fuelled by the presence of expatriates.
“Over the past four years since construction of the second container terminal at the Mombasa port began and building of the railway line, we have had dozens of Chinese and Japanese expatriates in need of secure living quarters,” he says.
The rising demand has seen rent go up to about Sh200,000 for a three-bedroom unit.
In Nyali estate, for instance, monthly rent for such apartments ranges from Sh180,000 upwards.
The living rooms are on the lower floor while a flight of stairs made of hard wood lead to the bedrooms upstairs.
There are a few apartments in each property, which ensures that there is no congestion.
At the Park Lane estate for instance, there are only eight duplex apartments, each with four bedrooms.
A Kenya Bankers Association reported noted in August that attributes such as presence of swimming pool and gymnasium seem to have had an insignificant effect on the house prices in quarter one of 2017.
Developers in Coast are therefore adding two living rooms on the lower floors, an office or family room and a bar within the premises where residents can host parties to woo buyers. The kitchen is also fully furnished.
“One of the services that must be availed even though you are not paying for a furnished apartment is the kitchen. Nobody expects that expats or travellers to carry a fridge or microwave or burner,” Mr Kinoti says.
For such apartments, security is paramount.
There is a video call system where a visitor presses the apartment number and a screen comes live. While your host can see you on their screen inside the apartment, you cannot see them so if you are not welcome, he will ignore you.
“This is because when visitors come to the main gate they identify themselves and say they know you and the security has no reason to deny them entry. But when you come here those efforts will be frustrated,” Mr Kinoti adds.
To enhance privacy, the blocks of apartments are constructed in such a way that they do not face each other and master bedrooms opens up the view of the ocean.