7 March 2019

Kenya: Nairobi's Super-Rich Buy More Luxury Homes

Photo: Daily Nation
Amara Ridge property by Cytonn Investments.

About 18 per cent of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI), some 1,706 individuals, invested in local luxury residential units last year, snapping up a chance occasioned by price fall in high-end homes.

Another 8 per cent of the millionaires bought homes abroad last year, as 22 per cent of Kenya's super-rich were planning to buy new prime residential units within the next two years, according property management firm Knight Frank.

Kenya's prime residential prices dipped by 4.5 per cent in 2018, triggering Nairobi's ranking slip to position 92 from 75 in 2017 on the firm's Prime International Residential Index (PIRI).

'OVERSUPPLY'

"As a result of the oversupply, developers have had to deliver higher specification property at lower prices. A relatively unfavourable economic environment has also affected demand.

"The price correction, however, presents a good opportunity for high-net-worth individuals to buy high-end properties at discounted prices," said Knight Frank Kenya Managing Director Ben Woodhams on Wednesday.

However, as prices of prime homes dipped, Knight Frank's statistics indicate that luxury property values in the capital had appreciated by 38 per cent since 2010. The firm ranks any property priced above $800,000 (Sh80 million) in Kenya as a prime residential unit.

In the PIRI report, South Africa's Cape Town is ranked position 28 following a 3.8 per cent price growth in 2018. Manila, Philippines, posted 11.1 per cent growth, topping the PIRI, which tracks luxury home price movements in 100 locations.

About 39 per cent of the super-rich have property investments in the country, while up to 18 per cent made additional property investments in the country in 2018, with 15 per cent buying outside Kenya. Cumulatively, about 22 per cent of the HNWIs have invested in foreign property.

INVESTMENT PORTFOLIOS

Wealth managers and advisors interviewed for the report also said Kenyan HNWIs allocated 25 per cent of their investment portfolios to equities, 22 per cent to property investments, 22 per cent to cash or cash equivalents, 20 per cent to bonds, 3 per cent to private equity, 3 per cent to luxury investments (like art, wine, classic cars), 1 per cent to gold, with the remaining 4 per cent going into other asset classes.

According to Knight Frank's wealth report, there were 9,482 Kenyans among the world's HNWIs in 2018, representing a 3 per cent growth over the 2017 count. The number is projected to increase by 22 per cent to 11,584 by 2023.

Four Kenyans joined an elite group of super-wealthy persons called Ultra High Net-Worth Individuals (UHNWI) with a net worth of more than Sh3 billion, swelling their number to 125.

Nairobi, the capital, is home to 82 of Kenya's UHNWIs, with one of the fastest growth rate in the number of the super-rich in Africa.

Manufacturing, the retail sector and financial services and investment sectors were the biggest contributors to the number of new dollar millionaires.

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