NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – Did you know that owning a two bedroom apartment in Watamu could earn you Sh60, 000 per day?
This is according to Hemingways Watamu Operations Manager Melinda Rees who says a two bedroom apartment in their Watamu resort is estimated to rent out between Sh65, 000 and Sh50,000 a day (Bed and Breakfast), while a four-bedroom apartment goes for Sh125,000 for a single day during the high season, with the low season attracting Sh98,000.
“Tourists are now traveling with families and want the luxury of also having to cook some meals for themselves apart from getting everything from the resort. Luxury apartments are becoming very attractive for tourists and investors as they can sublease to us and we maintain and manage it for them,” Rees told Capital FM Business.
Hemingways Watamu has converted 50 hotel rooms into 21 apartments sold on a 99-year lease with Rees disclosing that three of them have already been sold.
The apartments, which cost between Sh70 million and Sh140 million depending on the number of rooms, will see the resort diversify its income to cushion against low tourism seasons.
“The high season is from November to April. We are almost fully booked in this period. May and June is the worst season, but starts to pick up from August. What these apartments do is act as an anchor throughout the year, as we will charge Sh100,000 maintenance fees (per month) for the apartments thus we are able to maintain our staff and don’t have to fire and rehire as tourism is very seasonal,” Rees explained.
So this means that for example if you buy an apartment at Sh70 million and have it rented half the time in the year, an investor will break even in six years.
This is not the only luxury resort building apartments; others include English Point Merina, selling three and Two Bedroom apartments in Nyali.
English Point Marina is managed by the Pinewood Village Beach Resort and also offers luxury apartment living.
Onsite facilities include a hotel, restaurant, spa & gym, serviced marina, water-sport centre, boardwalk with retail outlets and underground car parking.
“This trend will continue to be seen in the luxury market as the market becomes more sophisticated and hotels diversify their products. High net worth investors are inclined to own beach homes in the coastal areas. We have clients that book the same apartment and hotel rooms every year,” Rees noted.
Vocational rental apartments are also gaining popularity in Kenya.
According to the latest statistics from Vacation rental site Airbnb, Kenyan property listings hit 5900 as of September 2017.
The company indicates that there were 39,500 guests hosted in Kenyan properties from January to September 2017 with households renting out their homes on Airbnb earning a total Sh40.5 million.