Why the gated communities will remain the best buy
Available statistics show that Kenya has a huge housing deficit, where demand exceeds supply by more than 150,000 units annually. Such statistics have informed the marked rise in the number of upcoming housing developments in Kenya and more specifically Nairobi. Houses and apartments in gated communities are proving to be a most popular choice for home buyers as well as tenants.
But what do gated communities offer? Let’s explore these benefits using the example of Greenspan Housing – one of the largest developments in Nairobi’s Donholm, comprising of apartments, maisonettes, shopping mall and a community centre.
Security: This is the most obvious benefit of a gated community. Clearly, living in such a compound reduces the chances of crimes such as robbery and kidnapping.
Security is probably the single most important factor to the home-owner. A safe location is paramount for any development. Not only is there a perimeter wall, but the various courtyards within the estate also have their independent entrances and manned gates. Parents also feel safer with children playing in a safe environment.
Affordability: Buying a house in gated communities is considerably cheaper than a house on an individual plot. The price of land per acre is much lower when buying a large parcel such as 20 acres compared to buying a quarter or an eighth of an acre.
In addition, there are economies of scale to be enjoyed on the cost of construction and materials when building many houses. The savings can be so huge that often prices in gated community are significantly subsidised as opposed to putting up a unit alone!
Sharing services and facilities: Common services can be shared among residents making them far more affordable. At Greenspan for instance, features such as solar-powered panels and street lights, borehole and the community centre with a swimming pool and gym are accessible to residents affordably.
Lifestyles: With today’s commuter lifestyles, home owners place a premium on convenience and proximity to facilities. In a gated community, you aren’t just sold a house but a lifestyle too. By providing a nursery school, gym and swimming pool, shopping mall and medical clinic among other services at the commercial centre, convenience is brought to the resident’s doorstep.
In summary therefore, a gated community offers a lifestyle full of convenience, besides the homes being affordable.Shirish Shah is the managing director of Greenspan Investment Ltd, and a professional accountant with international experience.