The newly released Knight Frank Wealth Report 2022 offers insights into the ranks of the super rich around the world, with Kenya not excluded.
The data indicates that Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UNHWI) – meaning individuals worth more than $30 Million – reduced in Kenya from 90 in 2020 to 88 in 2021.
High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) – those worth more than $1 million, however, increased in Kenya to 3,362 in 2021 from 3,323 in 2020 when Covid-19 was blamed for a slump in fortunes.
The figure had dropped to 3,323 in 2020 from 4,235 the previous year.
Knight Frank projects that the number of HNWIs in Kenya will rise to 4,274 by 2026 while UHNWIs will hit 100 from the current 88.
Africa was the only region in the world to register a drop in its UNHWI population which declined 0.8%. The global UNHWI population rose by 9.3% in 2021.
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On average, just under two thirds of UNHWI wealth is allocated to property. Just under a third of total wealth is held in principal and second homes.
The report highlighted how the onset of Covid-19 impacted the commercial property market in Kenya and how players have since adapted.
“When the pandemic first hit Kenya, the serviced office sector was hit hardest due to short-term licences, so occupiers simply opted to work from home.”
“Now, as the sector recovers, it is that flexibility that occupiers want, and so we are seeing a huge growth in occupation by serviced offices,” noted Ben Woodhams from Knight Frank’s Nairobi office.
An interesting tidbit was Kenya being a preferred choice for many wealthy individuals in Africa looking to purchase a new residential property.
It came second to the UK in where if they were purchasing a new home it would most likely to be located. US, South Africa and Australia occupied the remaining three positions in the top five.