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Design & Interiors

Karen makes list of top 10 luxury homes globally

Fair Acres country homes in Karen
Fair Acres country homes in Karen. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The lush suburb of Karen has been ranked in the top ten Luxury home hotspots in the ‘Wealth report 2018’ by Knight Frank.

Karen, home to some of the high-flying figures in the country including playing host to official residence of Deputy President William Ruto, former prime minister Raila Odinga, former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka, a large expatriate population, as well as wealthy Kenyans being among high-end home owners, is ranked in the league of the global real estates giants like Potsdamer Straße, Kurfürstenstraße and Gleisdreieck in Berlin, Germany and Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, Italy.

The Karen suburb also hosts a number of internationally acclaimed organisations such as the Giraffe Centre, Karen Blixen Museum, and some of the most expensive and elite international schools in the country such as Brookhouse, Banda, Gems Cambridge and Hillcrest.

Located some 10 miles (16 Kilometres) west of the CBD, and named after Karen Blixen, the Danish expatriate who lived here in the early 20th century and famously wrote about her experiences in the book Out of Africa, that subsequently made into an Oscar-winning film, Karen, according to the research, is an ideal destination for future real estate investors globally.

Over the years, Karen has edged its local rivals in high-end suburbs to stamp its feet as the most affordable area to invest in and yet still maintain its prestige as one of the most affluent suburbs for real estate investment in the country.

Price tag

With an average price per acre of land in Karen being Sh52 million against a market average of Sh87 million, Cytonn Investments report states, the suburb is affordable yet prosperous place to invest in for future returns.

Knight Frank Kenya managing director Ben Woodhams, while contributing to the report said that from the early 2000s, growth was rapid in Karen, with many of the original five- and ten-acre plots developing into modern housing clusters with shared amenities such as club houses, gyms and swimming pools.

“This period saw land prices soar from Sh2.3 million per acre to their current levels of over Sh50 million per acre, where they have now stabilised,” says Mr. Woodhams.

“The market for these town-houses has become somewhat saturated, with a subsequent plateauing of both house prices and land values, with the former selling for typically around Sh80 million to Sh110 million although we are now seeing record prices being achieved for larger stand-alone houses with more substantial gardens.”

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