The global super-rich are flocking to the Kenyan capital Nairobi to snap up additional luxury homes that sell from Sh80 million, according to a new report by property consultants Knight Frank. Nairobi’s high end real estate allure is also pulling Africa’s most moneyed tycoons, according to the Knight Frank Kenya inside view Kenya report. “The country (Kenya) as a whole is among the top five most popular second home locations for Africa’s wealthiest,” says the report released recently. Kenya is also on the radar of high net worth investors from Europe and USA led by British buyers who represent 63 per cent of foreigners seeking properties in the country. South Africans are the second most buyers of Kenyan homes at 16 per cent, followed by Spaniards, Mauritians and Americans. ‘‘We also see a sizeable number of Italians and other nationalities drawn to the coast around Malindi, Watamu and Lamu, as well as the countryside such as in Nanyuki, close to Mount Kenya, and within private game conservancies,’’ the report noted. Prime residential houses are currently priced from $800,000 (Sh81.6 million) in Nairobi and demand for such properties was largely from wealthy city families seeking a beachfront holiday home or one in serene, far locations.
About five per cent of the super-rich in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Switzerland, France, Canada and Lebanon are also showing interest in the prime homes which are mostly in gated communities, near locations that offer the best education for children (for those who want to relocate), attractive lifestyle and guaranteed security. Overseas interest is growing even with Nairobi being ranked among the top 100 ‘most expensive cities’ in the world to buy a high-end apartment, according to the Global Property Guide. The city is also Africa’s fourth most expensive to live in, according to a cost of living index prepared for various cities across the world. It was behind Harare, Port Louis and Pretoria. But the prime properties are still bargains for foreign buyers following the currency swings. For instance, a foreign buyer of a Sh100 million house would have saved up to 8.2 per cent through euro-denominated transactions, while dollar-denominated purchases were 1.4 per cent cheaper, according to Knight-Frank. As foreign demand grows, developers are building more homes to cater for those seeking bargains, said Ben Woodhams, Knight Frank managing director. Deerpark Karen, a new development of 10 villas priced from Sh115 million per unit is one of the properties set for completion soon. – businessdailyafrica.com