Markets & Finance

Italians top buyers of Kenya prime real estate


Runda Paradise, is a 150-four-bedroom gated community in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Wealthy Italians are leading the list of high-net-worth individuals buying prime residential properties in Kenya, a new report shows.

The wealth report compiled by property firm Knight Frank revealed Kenya as one of the elite’s most sought-after second-home destinations.

The Kenyan tropical climate has attracted the Dutch super-rich in second place, followed by Belgians, New Zealanders, Americans and French natives who are investing in residential properties.

“Digging deeper into our data we can identify the lead international owners at the country level in a range of key prime markets like Kenya: Italy, the United Kingdom (UK), Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, the United States and France,” the report reads in part.

Read: Kilifi joins Kenya's priciest locations

The survey did not state the value or number of luxury real estate bought by foreigners in Kenya.

Among the areas that have attracted Italians is the coastal town of Malindi which has one of their highest concentrations in terms of residence and investments.

Besides the coast, other places where foreigners are buying prime residential units are Nairobi (in locations such as Karen, Rosslyn, Muthaiga, Runda, Nyari) and Kiambu (Tigoni).

The swanky suburbs of Nairobi and along the coastline are in demand by wealthy Italians‚ who are following in the footsteps of their British and American counterparts when it comes to global luxury real estate.

Foreigners are a significant group of buyers of prime properties in Kenya, helping to raise and sustain their prices.

Prime residential properties are defined as those priced above $500,000 (Sh64.4 million).

The high-end homes recorded an average 3.77 percent price gain in Kenya last year, recording an upward growth for the second year, according to the latest Knight Frank Kenya Market Update.

The wealth report also ranked Kenya as one of the global top real-estate investment hotspots after France, Spain, Italy and the UK.

“At a global level, our data confirms France as the most international prime residential marketplace, closely followed by Spain,” the report read in part.

Kenya was also ranked second by Africa’s super-wealthy individuals seeking second homes.

When answering where Africans would purchase a new home, the respondents said their top pick is the United Kingdom followed by Kenya, the United States, Australia and South Africa or Canada.

“Outside Europe, the US is the unsurprising lead in the Americas, South Africa is in pole position in its ability to attract the widest spread of investment into Africa, and Australia is the leading Asia-Pacific investment destination,” the Knight Frank report added.

Read: Nairobi adds another star, beats London in luxury property gains

The top-rated locations derive their status mainly from their convenience to dollar millionaires frequenting the countries for business and leisure.

The residences are also an alternative accommodation option for the kin of the super-rich studying abroad.

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