UK top for second home purchases among Kenya’s super wealthy

London Skyline Panorama from New Zealand High Commission
London Skyline Panorama from New Zealand High Commission. Photo © Christine Matthews (licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence).

The majority of Kenya’s “super wealthy” looking to invest in property outside the country are choosing the United Kingdom and residences in the rest of Europe according to global realtor Knight Frank in a new report.

According to the 2017 Knight Frank Wealth Report, found that the UK, is their most popular location.

The second most sought after location was South Africa with Mauritius, Spain and United States completing the top 5.

The top five locations remained hotspots mainly for their convenience to dollar millionaires frequenting the countries for business.

Business and study residence was the most popular reason for buying abroad and London was identified among the favoured higher education destinations.

68 per cent of Kenya’s Ultra High Net-Worth Individuals (UNHWI) prefer to pay for their children to study overseas, according to the report.

“These locations are considered as investments safe havens by the super rich. If you also look at the percentage of the super rich sending their children to foreign land for studies, it makes sense for them to own a home in those countries for convenience and because they have the money to make the purchase anyway.”

– Andrew Shirley, Editor Knight Frank Wealth Report

On average, the report found Africa’s super rich own 2.7 homes, compared to the 3.2 global rate. It predicts that 37 per cent of Africa’s UNHWI are likely to buy homes outside their birth countries in the next two years, with most (80 per cent) choosing Europe.

Unsurprisingly, Francophone Africa’s rich traditionally opt for Paris while Anglophone Africans go for Britain.

Heading the reasons for buying a residence overseas is lifestyle and personal security. Location on the safe-haven scale, the education for children, capital appreciation opportunities, access to healthcare and transport links were also influencing factors.

Kenya was also ranked in the report as one of the global top real-estate investment hotspot after the UK, South Africa, Canada and Germany.

The East African country ranked high in the personal residences scale with four per cent of the global HNWI (four per cent) looking to own a home in the country.

While the domestic real-estate sector has experienced a boom for over a decade, there are signs the sector has been cooling off in the past several months.