The Growing Real Estate Market At The Foot Of Mount Kenya

By Dana Sanchez Published: December 1, 2016, 9:39 pm
real estate market at the foot of Mount KenyaVilla at Mt. Kenya Wildlife Estate. Photo: mantisownerscollection.com

At 17,057 feet, Mount Kenya gets less attention than its taller counterpart, Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak.

But Africa’s second-highest mountain offers everything its big neighbor does, and then some, according to GoAbroad.com. For one thing, it’s in Kenya. For another, it costs about half as much to trek to Mount Kenya’s summit as it does to trek up Kilimanjaro. Mount Kenya is also less crowded, and the guides, aware that they are the underdogs in comparison to their taller neighbor, offer an unmatched level of service and hospitality.

The area around the foothills of Mount Kenya is emerging as a hot spot for residential and commercial real estate.

So what can you get for your money if you want to become vested in the area? Here’s a look at some of the new developments in Laikipia County in the foothills of Mount Kenya.

From How We Made It In Africa. Story by Nelly Murungi.

With developed tourism infrastructure including luxury bush lodges, hotels, conservancies, ranches, game parks and holiday homes – as well as large-scale farming – the area has attracted local and foreign investors.

Located approximately 200 kilometers from Nairobi, property in Laikipia County, at the foot of mount Kenya, has been seeing rent increases caused by rising demand for housing.

Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reports that the Laikipia County government recently doubled rents, and (in what seems like a response to the higher demand from developers) is proposing a hike in land rates of nearly 3000 percent, from KSh3.50 to KSh100 (US$0.03 to $1) per acre (0.4 hectares) for estates larger than 100 acres (41ha).

According to the Laikipia County government, the area generated approximately 2.5 percent of Kenya’s total annual national tourism revenue in 2014. In addition to tourism and agriculture, it also acts as a military base for the British Army in Kenya (BATUK) and the Kenya Defense Force, which has contributed to raising its profile and cultural diversity.

These are some of the new developments in Laikipia County.

Swiss International Resort Mount Kenya

This $70 million five-star resort is being co-developed by Mount Kenya Holiday homes (an existing development with 22 holiday homes) and Swiss International Resorts. Set to open in 2017, it will consist of 67 villas, 128 apartments, 86 townhouses and 75 hotel suites. The resort will also have a golf course, club house, and two restaurants.

Located 24 kilometers from one of Laikipia’s two largest towns, Nanyuki, it is being built to capitalize on the deficit in bed capacity around the Mount Kenya region. The development will be sold and leased back to Swiss International Hotels for use as rental villas. Through this partnership, Swiss International, which owns 27 hotels on three continents, will become the resort’s sole hospitality provider. This is the first Kenyan hotel for the group, which has two hotels in Nigeria, one in Rwanda – with another one in development – and another in Sierra Leone.

Homes will be priced from$280,000.

Cedar Mall

This Nanyuki shopping centre is capitalizing on the boom in middle-income consumers coming to the area on holiday, and is set to be the largest mall in the Mount Kenya region. At a cost of $13 million, it will house 12,000 square meters (about 130,000 square feet) of retail space in its first phase, and an additional 6,000 square meters (64,583 square feet) in its second phase. Confirmed tenants include Java House and supermarket Chandarana Foodplus.

Maiyan

Maiyan is a 146-acre development in Nanyuki, with the first phase covering 62 acres already in construction. The low-density development includes parks, nature trails, water features, an organic farm, and open grounds.

The development consists of 67 villas in 10 villages, a clubhouse, restaurants, training and events grounds, a chapel, library, water park, sports center and health club.

Plots start at $50,000 and the homes from $300,000. The development’s website has a page dedicated to diaspora buyers.

Mount Kenya Wildlife Estate

The focus of this development 12 kilometers from Nanyuki is the wildlife, with houses clustered around waterholes and salt licks, and views of the Mount Kenya, Lolldaiga Hills and Aberdare mountain ranges. The estate consists of 100 holiday homes at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy on 1,000 acres. Most houses at the development have been sold at $330,000 each.

Read more at How We Made It In Africa.

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