Centum Investment Company subsidiary Vipingo Development Limited (VDL) has handed over keys to more than 300 home buyers to their houses, following the completion of Phase 1 of the Palm Ridge Estate in Kilifi County, in the Kenyan coast.
In a statement, Vipingo Development Limited says the Sh1.5 billion housing estate comprises 330 units of one, two and three-bedroom four-storey apartments priced at Sh2.5 million, Sh3.5 million and Sh4.6 million respectively.
It marks the second major residential estate development by the company, and increases to about 400, the number of home owners within the 10,000-acre master-planned development that has a residential, commercial, school and industrial districts.
“We’re consolidating our reputation as a developer that completes projects on time, on budget and to the highest quality standards and that is why investors increasingly trust us with their money,” said the VDL managing director, Ken Mbae.
The project, dubbed 1255 Palm Ridge estate, sits on 10 acres of land, with amenities such as water, power, state-of-the-art security installations, sewer connection, parking, children’s play area and a swimming pool.
Mbae says it is suitable for residence or holiday home and is also an excellent investment for rental and short-stay vacation homes (Airbnb).
Besides the residential estates, industrial and commercial nodes are under development on the sprawling land that was previously a sisal plantation.
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The Managing Director added that Phase 2 of the Palm Ridge estate comprising of 110 apartment units is nearing completion in time for handover to home buyers.
The handover comes at a time when the growth of the real estate sector has been described as turbulent, over the past 5 years.
The handover follows the signing up of a partnership between Centum’s other subsidiary Centum Real Estate, with NCBA bank, to provide mortgage finance to aspiring home owners.
Under the agreement announced last week, NCBA will offer preferential mortgage financing to qualified applicants who include both the salaried and the self-employed, and support with portfolio visibility through its branch network to over 5,000 housing units being developed by Centum Real Estate within Two rivers, Thika road and Kasarani in Nairobi.
The developments include villas, townhouses and apartments ranging from Sh2.2 million to Sh44 million.
Speaking on the partnership, Centum Real Estate’s Managing Director Samuel Kariuki said together with NCBA, their strategic focus is to close the housing deficit that is prevalent across Africa.
“This cannot be accomplished by one institution; it requires a shared vision and goal. NCBA has proven to be a reliable partner time and time again and we are happy to play our part in addressing the housing shortage in Kenya,” he said.
Commenting on the agreement, NCBA’s Head of Property Finance Stella Mutai said the bank will continue to seek partnerships in order to improve access to housing within the country and the region.
“This is an exciting partnership with Centum Real Estate as we work together to bridge the housing gap across the country and the region,” said Mutai.
She further added that the huge volume of houses the country needs will require closer partnerships to help meet the growing housing needs in our major cities and towns.
Centum Real Estate has a range of housing products in Kenya and Uganda with a focus on affordable, modern and functional units fitted with the most advanced construction solutions within master-planned communities.
In Kenya, Centum RE has a portfolio of existing projects and is rolling out several new housing developments in support of the Big 4 Agenda of the Government of Kenya.
The announcements come even as Centum Investment’s shareholders are preparing to get a Sh218 million dividend payout for the financial year ended March 31 2021.
While announcing the amount on July 27, Centum Investment PLC chief executive, Dr James Mworia said the dividend payment of Sh0.33 per share is on the back of a Sh245 million cash operating profit that the company recorded in the year.
“The dividend is intended to cushion our shareholders from the effects of the difficult economic conditions while allowing the company to retain liquidity,” said Mworia.
The Group CEO revealed that the company is in a strong liquidity position of Sh7.5 billion held in its High Yield Portfolio as at the end of March 2021.