Wealthy Kenyans are investing an estimated 30 per cent of their wealth outside the country with Britain being their preferred destination. Knight Frank, the publisher of a new report on real estate and wealth, said the rich were putting money in building of retail shopping property in Britain.
Ultra – high net worth individuals in the country, each with wealth amounting to more than Ksh2.8 billion, prefer to put the rest (70 per cent of the total of their investments) in the local real estate sector. Indian investors were identified as having become the main investors in Kenya’s real estate market with residential property being the main focus.
“Some are diversifying their portfolios as they gain more experience with property investing, while others may be from a particular diaspora investing back into their homelands – for example ex-pat Kenyans,” reads part of the report. Kenya’s real estate has recorded a rally in the last decade, riding on improving infrastructure which has attracted investors seeking high returns.
The high – end property prices, however, dropped pace last year recording a 1.4 per cent growth lower than the global average of two per cent.
According to the survey, carried out for Knight Frank by Australian research firm WealthInsights, Kenya has 115 super – wealthy individuals, 32 of who are centa – millionaires (have more than Ksh9.1 billion) with only one dollar billionaire.
Professionals such as doctors and lawyers were also joining the wealthy. The preference of Kenyans rich to invest in Britain goes against the direction of trade between the two nations, which has lately been on the decline.
The value of goods sold by London to Nairobi declined last year for the first time in seven years, with Kenya’s export to her former colonies declining for the third year in a row. Britain has, however, remained an attractive destination for investments by the super – rich in Kenya.