By SAMUEL OTIENO (Updated Thursday, August 15th, 2012) – Star – Read original article here.
Gated communities are the latest trend in Kisumu as home buyers seek privacy and security in the lakeside real estate market that has picked up recently. Such residential developments usually have a perimeter fence and allow controlled access by residents, who also share some common amenities such as parks and swimming pools.
Developments that have taken this trend in the town include Translakes by Villa Care, Mountain View, Kajulu Homes and another named after US President Barack Obama built by a conglomerate of investors. Older neighbourhoods such as Lolwe and Milimani are slowly warming up to the concept as well.
Real estate market analysts say the trend is emerging as developers move to enhance security for home buyers in the town that has a tendency for political volatility. Mzungu Tumbo, a director at Sparknet Services, a Kisumu-based real estate marketer and auctioneer, says such residential neighbourhoods reduce crime due to heighten security and continuous surveillance. “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,” he said.
Controlled development within the gated communities also enables centralised management of common facilities such as street lighting and paved roads, as well as paid-for services such as waste management. This allows for optimal use of resources by residents, making them affordable to households. “With today’s lifestyles, tenants place a premium on convenience and proximity to facilities.
In a gated community, you aren’t just sold a house but a lifestyle too,” said Harold Ayodo, a real estate consultant in Kisumu. Facilities such as nursery schools, gyms, swimming pools, retail shopping malls and medical clinics are among amenities usually catered for within gated communities, providing residents with convenience at the doorsteps. The residential development models also avail economies of scale to developers on construction costs, which may reflect on the asking prices for the houses.