Capital Markets

Realtor refunds deposits as Covid hits home buyers pockets

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Lordship Africa Chairman Jonathan Jackson speaks at the launch of 88 Nairobi Condominium in Upper Hill, Nairobi, last year. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Property developer Lordship Africa has been forced to refund Sh40 million in pre-sales deposits made by 12 apartment buyers at its upcoming 88-Nairobi luxury development.
  • Speaking at the site of the Sh5.2 billion, 44 floor apartment building at Upper Hill, Lordship chairman Jonathan Jackson said the refund was caused by economic hardships experienced by the individuals.

Property developer Lordship Africa has been forced to refund Sh40 million in pre-sales deposits made by 12 apartment buyers at its upcoming 88-Nairobi luxury development, highlighting the hardships facing the sector during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking at the site of the Sh5.2 billion, 44 floor apartment building at Upper Hill, Lordship chairman Jonathan Jackson said the refund was caused by economic hardships experienced by the individuals as well as disruption of construction due to the Covid-19 protocols.

“We refunded the deposits in full ranging from Sh5 million to Sh12 million. Pre-Covid sales stood at 50 apartments that were sold at between Sh15 million for one-bedroom apartments to Sh25 million for two-bedroom apartments,” he said.

He added that the project’s Chinese contractor ZJCC had resumed operations, and that the firm was now booking additional sales.

ZJCC had halted construction for nine months,

“We have resumed sales and currently they stand at 60 units. This will continue until we reach 150 units where the rest will be sold at premium prices upon completion within the next 36 months,” he said.

The real estate sector has been one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with buyers and developers struggling to raise funds amid tighter credit conditions by banks, which are wary of the risk exposure.

Latest data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, covering the second quarter of 2020, showed the sector growth slowed to 3.9 per cent compared to 7.2 per cent expansion in a similar period of 2019.