Nairobi, like many other emerging market cities, has experienced significant growth in population and income per capita over the last 15 years leading to significant congestion in the central areas.
And with Kenya having been listed among the top global destinations for super-rich Africans seeking to buy a second home, the sophisticated homebuyers are yearning for privacy that depicts the trappings of their opulent lifestyles and are ready to spend up to $800,000 (Sh82 million) or more for a prime residential house within the city.
This is something real estate developers have to grapple with to cater for a diverse range of prospective buyers and tenants.
Rare in the past
The sophisticated homebuyers or renters are looking for extra luxurious amenities like swimming pools, jacuzzis, saunas, well-manicured gardens, gyms and clubhouses facilities that were rare in the past.
Also, exquisite features that add to comfort such as fully-fitted Poggenpohl kitchens, inbuilt home entertainment systems, fireplaces, ample garden spaces, water features, wall features, mood lighting, fully-furnished homes and large walk in cupboards are a must.
Equally, considering that the average minimum size of a land subdivision in Kenya is 1/8th acre— 50 feet by 100 feet plot size, plot size becomes a priority for ultra-wealthy homebuyers.
“A lot of our properties in areas like Kitisuru, Muthaiga, Runda offer half acre land or more to cater for these buyers. However, land is increasingly becoming more expensive and scarce and so a lot of properties do not offer such large plot sizes,” said Darshan Chandaria, the CEO of Chandaria Properties.
“By providing ample trees and green spaces, along with bigger plots per house, we guarantee that every house has its own space and privacy from the neighbours. Our architectural designs also ensure that apartments and houses are not overlooking each other or neighbouring compounds,” said Mr Chandaria.
Penthouses are sprouting up fast in Nairobi’s upmarket areas, and with them are coming with that aspect of offering privacy and expansive spaces, like traditional houses, however, allowing one to benefit from greater security and amazing views.
These penthouses are preferred by a lot of expatriates, as they provide for an exclusive lifestyle feeling as well as safety, as expatriates tend to travel a lot.
“Our penthouse is renting at $4,500 (Sh463,500) per month and its appeal is how spacious it is, and it is half furnished,” said Mr Chandaria.
Garden City Village development manager Mumo Kianga said a buyer looking out for a luxurious house should look for things like design, quality of finishing, natural light, sustainability and security.
“However, we believe that luxury is ultimately defined by a quality of life. For instance, at Garden City, we started with the principle that it would be great to be able to wake up, walk your kids to a green park while you have a coffee at a great cafe,” said Mr Kianga.
“We thought it would be great to have an IMAX cinema next to your home. To not worry about security. To live as part of a community and not just a building. We believe people are prepared to pay a premium for that lifestyle and convenience,” he added.