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Youngest Real Estate Firm Shakes Market With Sh12bn Fund

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Newly launched residential home developer,  Mi Vida, has been ranked the best new entrant into the Kenyan real estate market. Mi Vida also received an award in the real estate developers and agencies category at the Kenya Homes Expo 2019 held in Nairobi last week.

The home-builder, which is targeting the middle-income sector, launched its operations in Kenya in July this year. Mi Vida is a Ksh12 billion joint venture between Actis, a leading growth markets investor across Africa, Asia and Latin America, and Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate (SPRE), the real estate arm of one of India’s largest conglomerate.

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Speaking on the sidelines of the expo Mi Vida CEO Chris Coulson said it was a great honour for the company to be feted barely four months after launching in Kenya. It aims to construct over 2,000 residential homes in Nairobi. “These awards are a vote of confidence in our work and business strategy. Mi Vida truly is a game-changer in the market,”  he said.  

Mr Coulson said there’s underlying demand for quality homes in the middle-income segment and this has seen Mi Vida sell 25% of the first phase in less than two months.

He attributes this success to a pre-launch market survey undertaken by Actis and SPRE that gave vital insights into the constraints within the Kenyan residential market.

“When entering a new market, having local knowledge and expertise is indispensable. Prior to investing, we interviewed over 400 people who were actively looking to purchase apartments and we used that feedback to tailor-make our products to suit their needs,” said Mr Coulson. 

Other issues raised by prospective home buyers include location, price, amenities, quality of construction and finishes, good car parking, security, even down to the size of a usable balcony.

“We are well funded so fortunately not solely relying on off-plan sales and sales revenue to start and fund the project, which is rather unique in today’s market,” he added. 

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Mi Vida which means ‘my life’ in Spanish, has launched its first project within Actis’ Garden City. This will be constructed in three phases totaling 624 residential units ranging from one, two and three-bedroom units constructed on a 4.5 acre parcel of land adjacent to the Garden City mall.

More than one acre will be dedicated to green spaces and amenities. Construction of the first phase, comprising 208 units, is expected to commence very soon. 

Arranged mortgages

Mi Vida is also in discussions with banks for preferential mortgage products, which will make the houses more affordable to interested home buyers. 

Actis has successfully invested in Garden City Mall, Residences and Business Park, The Junction Shopping Mall, Nairobi Business Park and the recently launched Nairobi Gate Industrial Park.  The developer Shapoorji Pallonji Real Estate has a wealth of commercial and residential development experience spanning over 150 years including their successful middle-income brand in India, which today is developing over 13,000 new units.

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BT Reporter
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