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63pc of UK millionaires want to buy homes in Kenya

British buyers are interested in Kenyan holiday homes

Nearly two thirds of United Kingdom’s millionaires are interested in buying homes in Kenya, a new report shows, further reinforcing the country’s status as a regional hotbed for property investments. According to the recently released Knight Frank Inside View Kenya 2018 report, four cent of the world’s high net worth population – individuals with assets of more than $1 million excluding their primary homes – are considering purchasing homes in Kenya; led by UK millionaires, 63 per cent of whom have expressed their desire to own property in the country. British buyers are interested in Kenyan holiday homes – mainly in Lamu and Watamu, as well as countryside areas such as Nanyuki, near Mount Kenya, and within game conservancies.

“Among the global high net worth population, four per cent look to own homes in Kenya – led by the UK’s high net worth population, 63 per cent of whom express interest in Kenyan property, followed by 16 per cent of South African high net worth individuals and 11 per cent of Spanish, Mauritian and US high net worth individuals,” said the report. “About five per cent of the super-rich in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Switzerland, France, Canada and Lebanon are also likely to invest in Kenya.” The Kenyan capital, Nairobi, is on the other hand popular among international corporations looking to set up their headquarters in Africa. “The city’s hotel industry is growing fast, as is the technology industry, which attracts many young Americans straight out of college who want to embrace exposure to this rapidly expanding market,” the report says. “While many expatriates will live in high-end residential areas such as Karen, Runda or Muthaiga, these young tech workers tend to rent apartments closer to work and enjoy Nairobi’s burgeoning youth culture in the form of trendy bars and clubs.”

Kenya’s high net worth individuals, who have doubled to around 9,400 over the past decade, are in recent times investing heavily in the local luxury property segments – a scenario that has pushed property values to record heights. “Whereas traditionally wealthy Kenyans might have sought a safe haven for their cash in luxury property in South Africa, Dubai, New York or London, they are increasingly seeking high-end products within Kenya itself,” says the report. This comes even as the city’s prime residential market looks forward to a recovery in the first half of 2018 as the wave of prolonged political uncertainty dissipates, ending a period of price correction experienced in 2016 and 2017.

“An oversupply of prime properties for rent is behind the weaker prime rental growth, which has given tenants more leverage to negotiate with landlords. In a market dominated by expatriate tenants, corporate budget cuts by multi-national firms have further influenced the performance of the high-end residential segment,” the Knight Frank report states. According to Knight Frank Kenya managing director Ben Woodhams, Kenya has “a long-standing reputation as a destination for holiday home ownership” and that property investments are expected to increase in line with a strong economic growth in 2018. –