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Kenya beats SA as favorite spot for Africa super-rich’s property investments

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Kenya rated highly ahead of South Africa as the continent’s preferred property investment location for Africa’s super-rich, and the third after the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US).

According to the Attitudes Survey data by consultancy firm Knight Frank, about 24 per cent of dollar millionaires already own real estate businesses in the country, only inferior to UK’s 67 per cent and United States’ 33 per cent.

Majority of Kenya’s super-rich, about 59 per cent have local investments in real estate, while 27 per cent hold property interests outside the country, according to the report released yesterday in Nairobi, which also highlight’s the countries ultra-rich.

Property makes up 43 per cent of Kenyan high-net-worth-individuals’ (HNWIs) investment portfolios, excluding primary residences and second homes. This averages higher than their African counterparts’ 39 per cent.

The impressive jump according to the respondents (investment managers and bankers representing HNWIs) that took part in the survey, said that 42 per cent of their Kenyan clients increased their exposure to property investments in 2017, brought by confidence in the asset class.

“The fact that Kenya is the top African investment destination of choice for HNWIs on the continent speaks volumes about the strength and growth potential of our property market,” said Ben Woodhams, Managing Director at Knight Frank Kenya.

South Africa is the fourth favourite property investment location for Africa’s super-rich at 9 per cent. In total, 4 per cent of the world’s super-rich already own property investments in Kenya, led by African, North American, European and Asian HNWIs.

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The Attitudes Survey collated responses of 500 of the world’s leading private bankers and wealth advisors, who between them represent over 50,000 clients with a combined wealth of more than US$3 trillion.

The report also found that the number of Kenya’s dollar millionaires worth at least US$5 million (Sh500million in net assets) is expected to grow by 60.5 per cent from 1,290 last year to 2,070 over the next five years.

The annual wealth report by Knight Frank, shows that the growth will be the second fastest in Africa behind Nigeria which is projected to have 6,500 such individuals in 2022.

Previous studies by the consultancy firm have shown that the number of millionaires in the country was growing rapidly compared to other East African countries, owing to a strong economic growth that has spurned wealth creation.

That number stood at 1,110 in 2016, representing a growth of 16.2 per cent, with 90 individuals in the wealthy class valued at worth US$50 million (Sh5 billion) or more as of last year, even though Kenya has less than 10 individuals worth US$500 million (Sh50 billion) or more.

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