Business / News
Monday, 30 May 2016 08:32 EAT
Superior Homes Kenya Ltd, has announced plans to venture into the tourism industry as it expands its footprint into the Kenyan real estate market.
Superior Homes Managing Director Mr. Ian Henderson says plans are underway to launch the construction of Elementaita Mountain Lodge, a 50-room luxury hotel, in June 2016 in a move that will see the company tap into the country’s second largest source of foreign exchange revenue - tourism.
“The lodge is targeted at the domestic market which is consistent considering the fluctuation in the tourism market. Our idea is to create a getaway for Kenyans for the weekend,” said Mr. Henderson.
Speaking about the company’s investment and future plans during a media briefing at Greenpark estate in Athi River, Mr. Henderson said the Greenpark project – a 163-acre housing development launched in 2004 - has since completed 450 houses in five clusters.
“This is about 70 percent of the venture and we anticipate the remaining 200 units to be complete by 2020 while a modern all-inclusive shopping complex is set to be completed by 2017,” said Mr Henderson.
Greenpark estate comprises of five house types for sale; the Quarter Villas, Semi - detached Maisonettes, Bungalows, Super Bungalows and Villas with prices ranging from Sh9.5m to Sh36.7m.
The 4 bedroom Bungalow was released in the market in 2006 at Sh3.98 million and is now selling at Sh18.4 million. The larger 4 bedroom Villa was released in the market mid 2015 at Sh31.9 million. It is now selling at Sh36.7 million.
“The future of the property market looks bright since it is aspirational and the gap for sufficient housing is yet to be filled,” Mr. Henderson noted, refuting consistent assertions that the Kenyan property market could soon experience a bubble burst.
“Kenya’s property market is steady and on an upward trend. The industry is driven by Kenya’s growing middle class with demand for value and developers must keep in mind the changing needs of customers and stay ahead of the game,” said Mr Henderson while admitting an increasing need to develop affordable housing for the emerging middle class that would range between Ksh 6m to 10m.
“When Superior Homes first launched Greenpark Estate it was targeted at the middle class but with the steady increase in prices and value over the years we do recognize the need to now launch a new development with housing prices ranging between ksh 6 and 10 million targeting the growing middle class,” he noted.
With this in mind Superior Homes is looking to tap onto its positive brand perception to spread its footprint with development projects in other counties.
Other than housing units, Greenpark estate also comprises two schools and a leisure center known as the Sundowner. The recently opened Sundowner, built at a cost of about ksh 150 million is a recreational resource open to Greenpark residents, neighboring estates and businesses as well as the general population traveling along Mombasa Road.
The Sundowner comprises a restaurant, sports bar, conference and accommodation facilities, a multi-purpose sports court, swimming pool, a gym, gaming facilities and a beauty parlor.
“The facility which also has some accommodation rooms is our baby step into the hospitality industry as we look to break ground at the Elementaita Mountain Lodge in the next few months,” Mr. Henderson noted.
Superior Homes Kenya is credited with pioneering innovative pocket friendly housing products that assist customers purchase homes conveniently. In September 2015 the company launched the ‘BOLT’ (Buy over Long Term). This model was conceptualized to give prospective buyers an opportunity to purchase a house in Greenpark over one to three years on pre-agreed fixed monthly deposits.
The BOLT concept is unique as customers are able to buy houses at fixed prices over the agreed period without having to take up bank mortgages. BOLT is good news especially for people in business as instalment plans can be tailored to suit the cash flow of the buyer.
“The uptake of the BOLT product has been very positive in the market. We currently have 9 buyers under this program for the purchase of various house models in Greepark Estate,” Mr. Henderson said.
The company also initiated the ‘Try Before You Buy’ concept. This is where a prospective buyer gets to live and experience the houses for a few days in a fully furnished unit within Greenpark. The product receives 5 visitors per month, at least 2 of whom translate to a sale. This is close to 50 percent success rate.
Shadrack is a business writer at the Kenya Free Press.