Kenya makes it to list of hotspots for Africa's, world's wealthy home seekers, report

Knight Frank, in a report, has said that prime residential houses in Nairobi are currently priced at Sh82 million or more, creating a surge for high end investors to tap into the rapidly growing economy.

 

This has in fact, given an insight into the upward trend in prices of luxurious homes in Nairobi and coastal regions in the recent past.

“Interestingly, Kenya is among the top-five most popular second-home locations for Africa’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals,” reads part of Knight Frank report.

In the report, Kenya is way above Nigeria and Mauritius, trailing in the footsteps of South Africa amongst African countries, and has an appetite of 32 per cent. Of the rich Africans polled, 75 per cent are eyeing a second home in the UK, 50 per cent look at South Africa, 18 per cent in Nigeria and Mauritius closed the African gap at 16 per cent.

Rich Africans

A huge chunk of citizens of South Africa, Mauritius, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana are among the continent’s super-rich men. The parameter included a desired minimum net worth of Sh3 billion, all eyeing the Kenyan soil.

Speaking to journalists in Nairobi shortly after the release of the report, Knight Frank's Managing Director, Ben Woodhams, said that most foreigners have a preference for houses in Nairobi and at the coast.

The houses also offer good returns in terms of rental income and capital appreciation for those buying for investment. Knight Frank says the prime residential units generate average rental yields of six per cent in Kenya shilling terms.

Rents for such upmarket homes are priced from Sh250,000 per month for apartments and Sh300,000 for townhouses.

The consultancy firm says four per cent of the global super-rich look to own homes in Kenya, adding that 63 per cent of the UK’s wealthy citizens fancy owning a house in Nairobi, a local daily reports.

16 per cent of wealthy South Africans are also likely to acquire homes in Kenya followed by Spanish, Mauritians and Americans (11 per cent) and Ugandans, Tanzanians, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Swiss, French, Canadians and Lebanese (five per cent).

Investment patterns

In the report, Knight Frank says that prime residential houses in Nairobi are currently priced from Sh82 million. In addition more units are now priced above the Sh100 million mark in posh suburbs of Muthaiga and Karen in Nairobi and Diani, Malindi and Watamu at the coast.

The locations have been marked as popular owing to the controlled development and relatively better infrastructure.

Kenyans with a net worth of at least Sh102 million, Knight Frank says, have increased their investment in property, with over 63 per cent eyeing residential business, 56 per cent going for office space, 31 per cent in retail business, 25 per cent leisure industry while 13 per cent have invested in industrial businesses.

“Over the next two years, 46 per cent of resident Kenyan high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) are likely to buy additional homes within the country, while 43 per cent are looking at outside the country,” the consultancy firm says.

It adds: “In addition, 59 per cent of HNWIs in Kenya are looking to invest in commercial properties locally, while 44 per cent are looking to buy abroad.”

Majority of Kenya’s rich men, own homes locally, standing at 74 per cent. Another 74 per cent, 16 per cent and five per cent, however, own homes in Europe, North America and Middle East respectively.

Many of these rich men in Kenya, the report says, dedicate over 28 per cent of their wealth to real estate investments, with an emphasis on capital preservation, with the individuals also gaining from rental income and price appreciation.

“With the upcoming election, we have noted a slow-down in development. This will allow the market to re-absorb the oversupply, which will reverse the marginal price decline,”  Woodhams said.

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