In the homes market, there is always a new trend and this time developers are at it again with fitted kitchen equipment to woo prospective buyers, particularly in the high-end segment.
In the latest frenzy, kitchen appliances are part of the deal so you most likely would not need to move with yours the next time you move houses.
Welcome to the new-age homes where the dishwasher, cooking hob, microwave and oven are all built-in as part of the kitchen fittings that have in the past been limited to cabinets and the pantry area.
A hob is a combination of burners designed to fit onto the kitchen countertop, disguising the cooking stove as part of table, especially when the choice of colour matches the rest of the fittings.
It is often fitted with the accompanying ventilator hood to remove steam and fumes from the cooking island, essentially improving ventilation around the kitchen and house.
Now, dealers of home appliances are stocking up these appliances imported mainly from Italy and Korea, to meet growing demand among buyers keen on making better use of the available space and for aesthetics needs.
It is highly improbable that one could easily identify where the dishwasher is fitted; that’s because its door has been made to look like the rest of the kitchen cabinets.
Unlike the traditional microwaves and ovens that come in the regular colours of white and grey, the built-in ones have been designed to blend with the rest of the kitchen decor, allowing the home owner to customise the kitchen according to personal preferences and style.
The built-in appliances are also designed to economise on space ensuring that there are no protruding appliances in the space available.
Riverside Gardens in the Kileleshwa area of Nairobi is among the first housing projects that have incorporated built-in kitchen appliances with the developers backing the sold-out project saying the shift has been influenced by buyers who are looking for value-adds in property.
“Home buyers have a wide range of options and having kitchen with built-in appliances provides an edge,” said Mr Raganathan, a representative of Almond Investments that built the homes.
He adds that the homes were able to attract premium rates, with a three-bedroom apartment selling at about Sh22 million because of the value add-ons that they provided.
The appliances are fitted at the time of construction suggesting that buyers who intend to have them in their homes would have to liase with the specialty contractors who carry out the installation.
Neil Mitra, the product manager at Hotpoint, a home appliance dealership, says built-in electronics are emerging as a strong trend especially among developers constructing homes for the high-income segment.
“Fitted home appliances are so far for the very niche market segment but with rising income levels, we are projecting bigger uptake even in the middle-income bracket,” says Mitra.
Key selling point
Their aesthetic value aside, the built-in appliances have been designed to last longer because they would require the reconstruction of the entire mounting, should they break down.
A built-in dishwasher for instance would cost about Sh90,000, which is more than three times the price of its stand-alone equivalent, while the ovens and microwaves, both coming in stainless steel, black or white are selling in the range of Sh70,000.
Already several apartment blocks in the new properties entering the market are featuring the built in appliances, according to Hotpoint, and that factor alone could emerge as a key selling point.
The home appliances outlet plans to start importing built-in refrigerators and chest freezers in anticipation of a growing demand as developers move to embrace an all-inclusive kitchen.