Nanyuki Town’s changing fortunes
Aside from Nairobi, few other destinations have as thriving a real estate market as Nanyuki.
The allure of the town lying northwest of Mount Kenya is driven by tourism, owing to the large number of wildlife ranches scattered across the Laikipia Plateau and North to Samburu.
Silently, the town has turned into a playground for the nouveau riche who are scrambling for a share of the vacation homes on sale.
However, the booming real estate growth has leaned towards the upper segment of the property market, leaving behind a growing market for homeowners among the middle class.
Given the tremendous demand for affordable, well-designed homes arises the need to increase their supply through construction of new units.
Bongo Development Company Limited identified the opportunities that this demand presented within Nanyuki by developing responsible for the Sh250 Million Bongo Apartments, a 32-unit development for phase 1.
Bongo Apartments is one of a kind holiday home development named after a rare antelope found within Mt Kenya and Aberdare forest.
The development, set within Nanyuki’s suburbs, draws on the successes of the area’s most lucrative market by offering a readymade solution to the scarcity of affordable homes, coupled with the rising cost of construction that poses the greatest challenge to prospective home owners.
According to BDLC co-developer, Francis Mathenge, the owner can either choose to live in the house or put it on the rental pool when they are away and earn handsome returns.
“One can classify them as serviced apartments since you can be served from the numerous restaurants within the neighborhood, including Nanyuki Sports Club upon request. The uptake points to a bright future for those who’ve bought into this development.”
As a homeowner, one can rake in a cool Sh70,000, for a two bedroomed apartment while a three bedroomed apartment fetches Sh80, 000 per month at the current market rate.” adds Mathenge
Demand for furnished apartments by extension accommodation within the region is usually at its peak around Easter weekend and Christmas holidays.
It is increasingly recognized that nearly every developing city is short of affordable housing. Nationally, 11 million renter households – more than one in four – spent at least half their income on rent in 2017.
In high-cost housing markets, the numbers are significantly worse.
Bongo Apartments, combines beautifully crafted homes, old fashioned countryside comforts, and up-to-the-minute conveniences.
Also featured are private cul-de-sac streets, paved with Belgium block curbing which is part of the 100-space parking spaces.
The units are constructed facing the snowy peaks of Mt Kenya and overlooking the Nanyuki Sports Club golf course and Aberdare ranges.
The developers hope that the serene environment and breath-taking vistas will be the star feature of the development.
Sitting on a two-acre parcel, most of the units enjoy a vantage view of the world renown, Mt Kenya to the north, Aberdare ranges to the south and Loldaiga hills to the west while sharing a common perimeter fence with the Nanyuki Sports Club.
An added advantage to the existing as well as would be homeowners, is the advantage of joining membership of Nanyuki Sports Club that presents the chance to enjoy the diverse sports offered at the facility which include, the nine-hole golf course, a fully equipped gym, tennis, swimming pool and many others within arms length.
Phase one is almost sold out, with only six units remaining. The development has two house designs which include; two and three bedroomed units going for Sh9Million and Sh11Million respectively.
According to Stephen Mbau, Bongo Development Limited Company co-developer, “There is a looming disaster if the scramble for land for new real estate developments goes unchecked.”
“The takeover of arable land that was previously used for Tea, horticulture farming by real-estate developments around Kiambu, Murang’a and other counties neighbouring Nairobi, is worrying. If nothing is done to arrest the situation, then we’re doomed.” he added
Other major players in the real-estate industry share the same sentiments as Mbau; The trend with which the conversion of arable land into real-estate portends a huge problem for this nation in a not so far away future.
“Moving forward, counties such as; Isiolo and Marsabit need a policy formulation and documentation that will ensure that they have controlled development within their town.” suggests David Mwenda, managing partner, D-square Ventures, a Nanyuki based property letting agency.
“Our biggest hurdle, especially for emerging real estate markets, is that we don’t have a regulator who would be responsible for the control of market rates.”
“Why if I may ask, should the rent or cost of a house or cost of land be this much on one side of the town while exorbitantly high a stone throw away within the same town or area?” wonders Mwenda.
“As stakeholders within the real estate industry, it is high time that the key players with the support of the government that we come up with a price index, market performance statistics, and rate of return on investments that investors can refer to,” Mwenda opines
With the potential that devolution has presented for the past seven years, a lot is at stake including; shoddy and substandard work by unscrupulous contractors who employ underhand tactics in their undertakings by not following the building code.
Bongo Apartment is ideal for prospective investors who would love to tap into the tourism industry that has been looking up lately, especially under the holiday homes segment.
According to BDLC co-developer, Francis Mathenge, “It’s one of the most unique development outside Nairobi. Apart from the modern and high-class finishes, it has the potential to feature on the Airbnb platform which offers homeowners a return on investment opportunity.”
Airbnb is an online platform that connects people looking for accommodation to people who are renting out their homes.
The development was funded by Housing Finance who are willing to finance potential home buyers with the second phase which is set to commence at the beginning of 2019. It will include; a clubhouse, with a fully-fledged gymnasium well as a mini-swimming pool.
Current upgrade of Isiolo town, through the construction of an international airport and the construction of a mini-oil refinery has positively impacted on the future prospects and growth of Nanyuki town.
With land prices soaring as the cost of an acre of land which isn’t touching the golf course but within the precincts of Bongo Apartments fetching a staggering Sh30Million at the current market rate.
The highlights of the first phase include; a stand-by generator, cabro-paved driveways with parking bays for two cars per apartment.
Others include; water supply from the Nanyuki Water Services Company (Nyewasco) grid as-well-as reservoir tanks with a capacity for 2000 gallons.
In addition to electricity connectivity, each apartment boasts of Solar powered water heater. Internet connectivity to both the Safaricom fiber optic cable and Wi-Fi.
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