Centum Real Estate shrugs off Covid-19 to book Sh3.5bn in house pre-sales

The Covid-19 pandemic could have encouraged more Kenyans to buy homes.

Centum Real Estate closed Kes3.5 billion worth of house pre-sales —  an indicator of future sales —  and collected Kes1.6 billion between April 2020 and February, effectively beating the corresponding period before Covid-19 struck.

Centum Real Estate recorded Sh1.3 billion in house pre-sales in the period between April 2019 and February 2020.

“Our teams continued to deliver on our projects even during the worst months of the pandemic, and this built a lot of confidence in our existing and potential customers hence the increased sales,” said Centum Real Estate Managing Director, Mr Samuel Kariuki. 

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“The larger proportion of our portfolio addresses the affordable and mid-market segments where the demand continues to exceed the fragmented supply,” Mr Kariuki added.

Centum Real Estate is currently constructing Loft Residences, Riverbank Apartments and Cascadia Apartments within the Two Rivers residential district in addition to its mixed use developments in Vipingo, Kilifi and Entebbe in Uganda.

Other developments in Nairobi are the 365 Pavilion Place Apartments in Ruaraka and 265 Elmer One in Kasarani. 

The cumulative pre-sales represent 1,322 units out of a total 3,093 houses either under construction.

The firm’s collections represent an average inflow of Sh230 million per month since Centum issued a project bond late last year to finance its real estate projects, up from an average of Sh166 million per month previously.

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Centum Real Estate has also collected Sh2 billion from land sales in Vipingo, out of a deal pipeline of Sh8 billion.

This real estate sector has been hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with buyers and developers struggling to raise funds due to tight credit conditions imposed by banks, which are wary of the risk exposure.

According to data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the real estate sector growth slowed to 3.9 per cent in the second quarter 2020 compared to 7.2 per cent recorded in a similar period of 2019.

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