Tourists visiting Kenya for holidays or domestic locals travelling to places such as the coast have to make prior accommodation arrangements.
If you do not do that in time, mostly you will not find the hotel or lodge of your choice which means you will have to do with what is available no matter its state or venue.
But holiday lovers can now avoid this kind of inconvenience thanks to new state of the art property developments thats is now boosting the countries property offerings.
What is interesting about these projects, popularly known as fractional ownership or timeshare, is that a person buys the house for use only at the times they are interested in visiting the country for holidays.
Though popular in other tourism markets, the concept is being introduced in Kenya for the first time on a large scale by a developer called Baobab Development Group.
“In our wisdom, we think east Africa and predominantly Kenya is ready for fractional ownership,” says Angus Jackson, Baobab’s group sales manager.
Under this kind of arrangement, the properties are typically resort or lodges units, in which multiple parties hold rights to use the property, and each sharer is allotted a period of time in which they may use the property.
In the case of Baobab, a home owner will be given a chance to choose the time of ownership for four weeks, eight weeks and 12 weeks a year under a 99 year lease.
And depending on the time that one wants to occupy the house and the size of the unit (be it one bedroom or two bedroom) the prices range between $26.000 and $80.000.
According to Angus, the houses are fully furnished and contains facilities such as kitchen ware and electronic packages, private(member only) beach clubs, swimming pools, gym and spa, tennis courts, room services as well airport shuttles among others.
Baobab is currently constructing a lifestyle residential development in Malindi with planned developments in Watamu, Lamu, Diani and Naivasha. The company targets to put up 500 fractional units and Angus say the response has been positive with 15 per cent of the units having been sold already.
The project targets high income earners and has been running exhibitions at places like the Westgate Mall where ten units were bought last Saturday. This weekend, the exhibitions will be at a local Shopping Mall.
“We are getting a very big response from the Diaspora, investment market and from lifestyle lovers,” adds Angus. “I am anticipating that 80 per cent of the development will be completed by December this year.
A person who buys a house is also at will to lease out to a second owner and also has the freedom to swap the time of use with other owners of the same house. “You can sell it when you want,” Angus says.
A key advantage of the concept is that the owner is somehow protected (for 99 years) from the fluctuation in prices of property which has averaged between 15 and 20 per cent every year in Kenya.
But a disadvantage is that the time of use has to be decided between the owner and the developer since the unit is not owned by one person alone.