The global economy is likely to hit a recession in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, negatively impacting the Sri Lankan economy, although a highly anticipated recovery is awaited in 2021.
One of the key markets anticipated to contribute to the country’s GDP is real estate, which has historically proven to be a hotbed for transactions in Sri Lanka. Residential apartment sales were seeing renewed interest since January 2020, following a lull in the market in 2019.
Kelsey Developments PLC, established in 1983, with a rich heritage of over 35 years and a portfolio of 200+ real estate and housing projects, recently launched a 350+ unit housing project in Ja Ela. Kelsey Homes is synonymous with gated developments and luxury living.
Kelsey Homes claims to have witnessed significant demand from customers despite the challenging economic climate in 2021. To understand how the business operates, The Sunday Morning Business reached out to the senior management of Kelsey Homes. Following an hour-long dialogue with the knowledgeable industry experts, their upcoming projects, exciting designs, new building materials, and cutting-edge construction methods were revealed.
Speaking to us, Kelsey Homes Deputy General Manager – Sales Ajith Dharmathilaka began to talk about their recent 350+ unit housing project in Ja Ela.
“The Ja Ela housing project is a gated development consisting of 350+ housing units with 40+ amenities. Housing units are designed by the renowned architect Murad Ismail of MICD Associates, while Deepal Wickramasinghe Associates (Pvt.) Ltd. are the Structural Engineers for the project,” Dharmathilake added.
According to him, the property is spread across 15 acres of lush land in Ja-Ela, and is located in one of the most central locations in the country. The first and second phases of the project witnessed immense success, selling over 50% of its housing and apartment units within just a short span of time.
Further, the second phase was launched in September 2020, and to date, the project has sold over 190 units from a total of 356 units. The significant demand from customers despite the challenging economic climate was a true testament to the confidence in the company and its leading position in the Sri Lankan real estate market.
“It is five minutes away from the entrance to the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway (E03), 20 minutes to Katunayake, and 30 minutes to the upcoming ‘Port City’ via the Port Access Elevated Highway in 2022,” he added.
Commenting on how Kelsey Homes’ projects progressed from inception to date, Manager – Finance Amila Waddeniya stated that Rs. 1.1 billion has been invested in Central Park Ja-Ela, which is projected to generate over Rs. 5 billion as revenue by December 2021, from which over Rs. 2 billion has already been recognised in sales value.
Further this project has received an astounding response from our customers as in the first phase of this project, launched in June 2020 (post the curfew period owing to Covid-19), 70 apartments were launched, and all apartments were sold out in just 30 days.
Currently, over 50% of this project is sold and we invite all aspiring homeowners to make their reservation as soon as possible, Waddeniya added.
He further stated that Kelsey Homes’ value appreciation of its Mt. Lavinia project price point at the time of launch in 2014 was between Rs. 14-16 million, but by the time the project was completed, it exceeded Rs. 21 million, while the current reselling prices range between Rs. 30-40 million.
“Templer’s Square in Mount Lavinia. It comprises an exclusive gated housing development of 100 houses, and is set on six acres of prime land. As a reflection of the company’s confidence and commitment, all homes include a 12-month defects liability period,” he added.
Speaking on the Verdant Villas project that was successfully completed recently, Deputy General Manager – Sales Christus Jayawardena stated that Verdant Villas is one of the most prestigious real estate projects in the country, and has raised the benchmark for luxury living in the heart of Negombo. Spanning across 26 acres of lush land, aspiring homeowners were given the opportunity to select their plot of choice and customise their homes with the guidance of Kelsey Homes’ trusted team of experts.
“Its close proximity to key locations including Colombo, the Bandaranaiake International Airport, hospitals, hotels, entertainment hubs and more offers contemporary living spaces for a dynamic and enjoyable lifestyle,” he added,
The development is merely 10 minutes away from the Colombo-Katunayake Expressway entrance, and will only be 40 minutes to Colombo and Port City in 2022 via the Port Access Elevated Highway, making it ideal for busy working professionals, according to him.
Commenting on the future plans, Assistant Manager Sales Administration Shashika Perera further noted that they plan to keep serving aspiring homeowners by offering them ideal choices for their dream homes in keeping up with the latest trends and mentioned that there are many more projects in the pipeline.
“Our selection of location is primarily important and towards this end our team is looking at replicating projects like Central Park Ja-Ela and Templer’s Square Mount Lavinia: in the not-so-distant future,” he noted.
Kelsey Homes Construction Manager Roshan Thuiyadura pointed out that the organisation has been at the forefront of the country’s real estate industry and works closely with renowned architects, contractors using quality material to create high class developments that are set in warm and secure neighbourhoods.
“Kelsey Homes encompasses a portfolio that covers many key locations across the island, and it has earned the trust and goodwill of more than 2,000 customers across the country,” Thuiyadura added.
Marketing Services Manager Bianca Haputhanthri noted a concluding remark that Kelsey Developments PLC is an industry pioneer that has delivered an array of living solutions and exclusive developments.
“Established in 1983, the company is dedicated to provide customers with high quality, beautifully designed homes within a gated environment and 24-hour security. The company is geared towards a customer-centric approach with every project and obtaining feedback from potential buyers on all company properties is a definitive prerequisite,” she said.