In the wake of increased concerns by Kenyans over the reputation of some of Kenya’s real estate companies, Kahawa Tungu sat with Cytonn Investments to get an update on the sector.
Edwin Dande, Cytonn Investments CEO, divulged that whereas it’s true that some companies are entangled in endless court battles over unfulfilled projects, there exist players who are keen to delivering desired homes to buyers.
According to the CEO, the real estate business has many players, but the choice lies with the investor.
He noted that if investors learned to make wise choices, there would be little to worry about when it comes to owning a home.
“When done properly, buying and owning a home is a process that limits your financial risk, increases your investment power, and saves you tons of money in the long term,” the CEO says.
Fundamentally, choosing a partner from a pool of players with different abilities and visions determines the kind of result an investor gets, he says.
At Cytonn, the CEO says, great focus has been put at developing institutional-grade real estate that encourages great community living.
This is made possible through identifying existing gaps in the market which greatly contribute to the whole process of concept development.
He also added that in an environment where banks have dramatically reduced lending to real estate projects, buyers should ensure that a developer has various other sources of funding, in addition to bank funding.
He mentioned that Cytonn borrows directly from individual investors and pays the investors the same high yielding rates they would have paid to borrow from a bank.
Mr Dande singled out the Alma Project in Ruaraka, Kiambu County, where last month, the company delivered phase one units following successful completion.
A section of the Alma project. The project, according to Cytonn CEO Edwin Dande will be complete by March 2020. [PHOTO/ FRANCIS MULI]Located about 20-minutes’ drive from Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), the Alma sits in the neighbourhood of luxurious hotels such as Tribe Hotel and lavish malls like The Village Market, Rosslyn Mall and Two Rivers Mall, which according to the company, provides convenience in line with Cytonn goals.
The Alma, sitting on a 4.7-acre, land is the company’s second project to be handed over following the completion of Amara Ridge in Karen in 2017.
It comprises of 477 modern 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments and other intriguing amenities.
Some of the amenities at the Alma include elevated gardens, swimming pools with waterfalls, nursery school, retail center, with impeccable finishing.
Additional amenities include a retail center, lifts for all its blocks — A to J, a gym, back-up generators, 24hr security, and CCTV surveillance.
Each block has a playing ground for kids and spacious rooftops where residents can organize for social activities such as birthday parties without necessary booking space elsewhere at additional costs.
“As the town grows, there is increased demand for housing with superior amenities, great finishes and strategic location. We have all of this at the Alma, ” Dande said during delivery of phase 1 units in July.
The ceremony was attended by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Kiambu Governor Ferdinand Waititu.
The company has also invested in a borehole that will supplement the supply of water from the county.
To enhance uniform supply of water, Alma is fitted with reservoir mounted on a 40-metre water tower.
During a Kahawa Tungu crew tour of the project, the CEO affirmed that the whole project will be complete and handed over to investors by March 2020.
The Alma one bed-room includes a living room with a breakfast bar overlooking the kitchen with the living room opening up onto a balcony. It is fitted with a modern bathroom facility.
The two-bedroom unit is a well-apportioned space with a living-cum-dining room opening to a balcony. The kitchen area includes a storage cupboard and spacious laundry space.
The master bedroom is en-suite with built-in wardrobes.
In the Alma three-bedroom apartment, the living-cum-dining room opens up onto a balcony with its kitchen area including a storage cupboard and laundry area. Additionally, all three bedrooms have spacious built-in wardrobes with enough to store clothes and other personal items. The master bedroom is en-suite.
Mr Dande told us that due to high demand as a result of professional workmanship and impeccable finishing touches, all units in phase one, which comprises of block A, B and G, have all been sold out.
However, a number of units in phase two are still available as 70 per cent of the apartment has been booked.
He noted that the 10 per cent discount that was recently announced by the company has encouraged investors who continue to make reservations every day.
During our tour, with some clients who were also visiting the project site for the first time, we noticed that the contractor was busy on the site, working towards meeting the project timelines.
Once completion, Cytonn management will hold a handover ceremony at the project location where buyers will be given keys to their homes.
On unit costs, the CEO stated that one, two and three-bedroom houses are going at Ksh6 million, Ksh9.4 million and Ksh12.3 million respectively.
Interested persons can begin a journey to owning a home by either paying in cash or installments.
Buyers can either choose the three or 15-year payment plans depending on their preferences or ability.
“With the flexible 15-year payment plan, you will get to own a home easily with affordable monthly payments. Put down roots and own a space that is truly yours without breaking the bank,” information on the company website reads.