Pam Golding Properties expands into Kenya

Following the launch earlier this year (January 2012) of an office in Nairobi, Kenya, the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group is further expanding its footprint in Africa.

Additional offices are scheduled to open in Kenya during the course of this year, while PGP CE Dr Andrew Golding says the group is also looking to actively enter other East African markets, including Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, as well as Central Africa.

“This new office in Kenya has provided us with a natural gateway into the East African market, and further discussions are underway in respect of further PGP offices in Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda. While for many years we have been active in Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Swaziland, we see additional opportunities to expand our network into countries such as Nigeria, Ghana and perhaps Ethiopia,” he says.

“Business in Africa appears to have been less affected by the economic downturn in the rest of the world, and more directly and positively impacted by the growth in real estate demand caused by increased international foreign direct investment, especially the Chinese lead interest in Africa. Along with rapid growth in the residential property market, the mortgage market is evolving – with mortgages becoming more widely available from local banks.

“Kenya’s economy has proven resilient and prospects are improving, with growing tourism and increased investment not only in the business sphere but in infrastructural improvements, new shopping malls and residential and commercial development. In Nairobi, urban regeneration is taking place in the old city centre, with a new city centre forming towards Westlands,” says Dr Golding.

The PGP Kenyan office is represented by Mohamed A Samji, the executive director and a registered valuer with some 35 years of experience in the UK as well as East Africa, who is assisted by Professor Washington Olima, regarded by many as the ‘father’ of the valuation community, being for many years the head of studies for Land Economics at the University of Nairobi. Andy Collett, who has 26 years of experience in the real estate industry and has been with PGP since 1995, is the CEO of the Kenyan operation.

PGP Kenya forms JV with Property Link Africa

Last month (April 2012), PGP Kenya formed a joint venture with Property Link Africa, a division of the Langata Link Group, and which has significant market share in Nairobi and offices in Langata as well as on the coast in Diani and Watamu. Collett says as a result of this JV a PGP branded office will be launched in the Nanyuki/Laikipia area in the next few weeks.

Says Collett: “Kenya has a very strong domestic market for homes underpinned by strong fundamentals, namely an imbalance of supply and demand in the lower and middle markets. Statistics reveal that currently in Nairobi there is a demand for some 150 000 new built homes per annum at the lower end of the market, while the actual number being built is between 30 000 and 40 000 a year.

He says within Kenya and specifically Nairobi the prime residential areas are in Greater Nairobi, such as Runda, Riverside, Muthaiga, Karen and Gigiri, with middle income housing situated in Parklands, Riara Road, Kilimani and Westlands. Affordable housing is more towards the east of Nairobi and its suburbs including Athi River, Thika and Syokimou. Primary areas outside of Nairobi include Mombasa, Nanyuki, Kisumi, Eldoret and Nakuru.

Says Collett:” Residential property varies from affordable housing between KSh (Kenyan shilling) 4-7 million (1ZAR=10.1259KSh at the time this comment was issued) for a three bedroom apartment, to middle income properties between KSh 12-20 million (three bedroom apartment), and prime properties selling between KSh 40-50 million (four bedroom villa). While our key focus is on meeting the demand from the local property market, there are also opportunities to attract international buyers into Kenya and to market South African property to the Kenyan market.
“Since launching in January this year (2012) we have met with an extremely positive response from the local market. Currently we are marketing a wide range of properties, including residential, commercial and agricultural property for sale or to lease, as well as providing commercial and residential property management services,” he says.

PGP is also marketing three new residential leasehold developments in Nairobi, catering for a variety of buyers in different price bands. Trident Park Langata is a 45-unit townhouse development close to Wilson Airport, with secure family maisonettes within easy reach of Lang’ata Shopping Centre, Uchumi Hyper, the new Galleria Mall, good schools and only about 20 minutes from the city’s CBD. Prices range from KSh 18million.

At Trident Heights Riara, a modern, multi-storey apartment building in fashionable Riara Road, spacious three bedroom apartments as well as double staff quarters provide ample accommodation, priced from KSh21.5 million. The development includes a common swimming pool set in landscaped gardens, gym, ample parking and stand-by generator. An on-site borehole provides a back-up to the municipal supply while the building includes high speed lifts.

The luxurious Aberdare Hills Golf Resort, the first 5-star eco-friendly golf resort in East Africa, is anticipated to become the future iconic course for international golf championships for the entire region. The developers are releasing to market two and three bedroom townhouses situated in three villages, with a starting price of KSh18-25 million. Buyers can build their dream villa, within set architectural and landscape guidelines. This will be the initial release, with stands ranging in size from 500 to over 4000 square metres to be launched to the market later on. In this release, buyers will be able to build their own villas within established architectural guidelines. A 5-Star hotel will also be established within the golf resort, catering for discerning visitors.

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