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The rise of holiday homes for the rich

By Peter Muiruri | June 26th 2013

By Peter Muiruri

Kenya: A look at the many glossy real estate brochures available reveals a trend fast gaining currency in the country. Homes worth tens to hundreds of millions are being erected in various parts of the country with a view of attracting the upper class in Kenya and beyond.

Aptly called holiday homes, the houses are the epitome of luxury with features such as airstrips and helipads becoming common selling points. Longonot Gate in Naivasha is even said to come up with its own weather station!

Tatu City in Kiambu County is one such project that has been hyped as the model of city living of the future. One of the flagship projects for the country’s development blueprint, Vision 2030, the multi-billion shillings project is set on more than 1,000 hectares of a former coffee estate and will house over 70,000 residents with another 30,000 people commuting to the town daily.

Not far away is Thika Greens, an estate comprising over 4,000 units in 1,700 acres. And wonders will never cease…To gain access to their homes, residents here will just be required to press their thumbs against a biometric scanner while other visitors will be screened at a different entry point.

Included in the development is a 100-cottage special village for retirees with a minimum age of 55 years. The cottages are meant for two individuals though grandchildren are welcome for overnight visits.

Most of these homes are constructed to take advantage of nearby natural features. In Naivasha, for example, the many holiday homes provide excellent views of the lake and Mount Longonot. Those around Mount Kenya are patterned in the same manner while the ocean view is a must for such homes along the coast.

Further attracting the savvy consumers to this high life are world-class golf courses designed by renowned designers.

Topping this list along the Coast is Vipingo Ridge, a 2,500-acre development whose two golf courses designed by a former Kenya Open champion and a member of the European Tour David Jones are among the best in the continent.

As the prices of such property increases by the day, so is the number of those who can afford them.

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