Market News

Foreign investors eye piece of local real estate in 2018

A construction site. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A construction site. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Foreign cash is lined up to finance projects in the coming year to plug the 1.5 million national housing deficit.

Kenya’s Kings Pride Properties and its US-based equity partner Milost Incorporated last month inked a deal that will see a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) established to oversee implementation of new projects worth Sh45 billion across Kenya in the coming years.

The proposed SPV will float shares in an initial public offering at US securities exchange, NASDAQ, thereby giving US investors a new avenue into the local real estate sector.

Milost bought a stake worth Sh15 billion in Kings Pride and pledged a further Sh30 billion in debt capital to help the firm complete several ongoing projects as well as launch fresh ones targeting the middle and low-income earners.

At the same time, India’s Tata Housing Development Company announced a Sh15 billion joint venture cash call with the National Housing Bank and an unnamed real estate firm to invest in international projects starting with Kenya and Tanzania.

Tata Housing managing director Brotin Banerjee said the company targets to develop more than 4.5 million square feet of mixed-use townships starting January, over a four-year period.

At Kilimani, a group of Chinese investors have also injected Sh1.8 billion for construction of high-end serviced apartments directly targeting the rising expatriate community, business travellers and tourists.

Nathan Luesby, a consultant for the project, said the 11-storeyed Soho Apartments located on Kirichua Road will mainly offer short- term stay offers of between three to 12 months.

Another Chinese firm building on its real estate portfolio is Ahcof Investments, which has injected Sh522 million in a 10-floor high-end residential complex on Mbaazi Avenue in Lavington.

Ahcof indicated that the 160 two-bedroom units will be put up on three block apartment hosting 40, 80 and 40 units respectively.

The 70-floor Pinnacle Tower will also come up.