Broadening the holiday homes market

BY Victor Adar

When the development of Pazuri at Vipingo, a gated community in Kilifi County backed by Superior Homes, started back in 2019, there were high hopes that a total of 378 standalone houses would be complete by 2023. But barely two years after, the project took a break because of Covid-19 pandemic. The developer will  now finalise the project in 2024. 

Commenting on the current shift in the high end holiday homes market, Clive Ndege, the head of sales at the company said that the project will position Pazuri area as “best holiday homes” in Vipingo, which is around two metres off the Mombasa-Malindi highway.

“We have seen an increase in terms of uptake.” Ndege said. “There’s increased purchase power, and people are buying more holiday homes because about 80 per cent of costs in holidays are spent on accommodation. You can cut that out by acquiring your own… 60% of our clients have bought for holiday purposes, and 40% are those who live here day to day. They use the houses when they are here, and rent them out when back in Nairobi.” 

The houses, he said, are built on 105 acres of land and will comprise a club house as well as a swimming pool. In terms of cost, two-bedroom bungalows are priced at Sh14.48 million, three-bedroom maisonettes (Sh16.98 million) and four bedroom villas (Sh20.9 million).

The developer has witnessed growth in the last six months even as economy slowed down due to the pandemic, current “imported inflation”, and the ripple effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. Mr Ndege attributed the rising demand not only to retirees, but also single people opting for the serene Kenyan coast. 

“Of the 50 houses that we’ve sold so far, I could say people buying the two bedrooms are mostly single people, or families with mainly two children, and the retirees,” he said.

There are also unlimited financing options, and customers can either buy through instalments, cash or mortgages. Middle income earners who are unable to raise the buying price of a unit in full can benefit big from mortgage provided by mainstream lenders.

“If you are buying an off plan unit which usually takes us 12 months to complete, you can stagger payments (within the construction period) be it monthly or quarterly. For instance, we have NCBA, Standard Chartered bank, Stanbic as well as Gulf bank for our mortgage but a person is not limited to those ones,” said Ndege. 

According to Edwin Were Okal, the project manager, construction cost has been quite high. On the other hand, spending power of most people has also gone down. But the good news is that the project is taking shape big time.

“Up to date we have done overall of 38 houses… out of the 38, 20 are 100% complete and ready for occupation. We are also planning to have a club and a swimming pool by the end of this year and we are expecting more construction. We are hoping to start phase two next year… by end of 2024 we should have all the houses completed,” said Okal.

The design of the house, which is mostly the Swahili theme, is another highlight of the holiday homes. The houses spot flat roofs, which are more ideal given that the coastal climate is generally “harsh” especially to first time visitors. So, a flat roof can be used as a sitting area.

“We didn’t want to divert so much away from what the coast is already known for. So if you look at the houses there are normal niches which are most common like the colour themes, the entrance patio… and the open roof (flat roof) was chosen to allow excellent views of the ocean. Every occupant is able to view the ocean,” he says. 

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