Indian-British consortium offers Sh1.6m homes in Athi River

An artist’s impression of Riverview Estate.
An artist’s impression of Riverview Estate. PHOTO/COURTESY
Construction is well underway on Riverview Estate, a Sh3 billion gated community in Athi River, Machakos County, which promises to offer Kenyans the ‘cheapest homes’ ever.

US-based Blue Haven Initiative has joined forces with Metropark Developers and Housing Infrastructure (MDHI) of India and British and Kenyan investors to build affordable brick and mortar homes.

Through a consortium dubbed Karibu Homes, the investors are building 1,082 housing units and a commercial centre on a 20-acre piece of land in Athi River, just a kilometre off Mombasa Road, as they seek to cash in on the rising demand for affordable homes in the country.

“Our market research revealed that more than 80 per cent of Kenyans prefer mortar and brick houses, so our plan is to offer the most affordable [homes] in this category by giving Kenyans the freedom to choose the finish they want, and even providing the option of moving in and finishing it later,” Ian Simmons Blue of Haven Initiative said during the announcement of the partnership in November.

READ: Low cost housing boom hits Kenya

Mr Simmons, who is also a director of Karibu Homes Board, further said the developer will allow buyers to choose between homes with basic standard finishes, and those with enhanced finishes such as tiles, wardrobes and other facilities.

A basic two and three-bedroom home will be sold at Sh2.57 million and Sh3.48 million respectively, while fully-fitted ones will retail for Sh3.23 million and Sh5.02 million, respectively.

“These prices are based on the principle that rent or monthly mortgage payments should not be more than one third of disposable income.

“This makes it possible for a person with a net monthly salary as low as Sh40,000 to own a home,” says Ravi Kohli, the Karibu Homes managing director.

A one bedroom unit in the area currently costs an average of Sh6 million, while a two bedroom unit can cost as much as Sh12 million.

Dipank Sharma, chairman of Karibu Homes and managing director of MDHI said: “We are excited about this investment … and we have the experience to deliver quality homes in secure, gated communities, at affordable prices.”

The developer hopes to take advantage of economies of scale to keep the unit prices low, so as to enable individuals earning as little as Sh40,000 a month to obtain mortgages.

The development is set for completion by December 2016.