Foreign buyers fuel Nairobi’s luxury homes market

5_0High-net-worth individuals from the UK, Italy and the United Arab Emirates were the top three foreign buyer nationalities of luxury residential properties in Nairobi.

In Knight Frank’s latest Global Development Review, the foreign buyers were the main buyers of trophy houses in the past year.

The global property services firm forecasts that buyers from China and the US will most likely be the source of future demand for luxury residential properties in Nairobi.

The Wealth Report 2013, released by the firm earlier in the month, showed prime residential house prices were up by 10 per cent in Nairobi in 2012, the eleventh highest increase among more than 80 cities surveyed.

The city is among top locations expecting a rise in the level of luxury development volumes (new starts and completions), financing and purchaser activity.

Expectations of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) – who are the influencers in prime property performance worldwide – have risen, the review says, pushing developers to “bringing more high-specification ‘trophy’ buildings into the market”.

“The importance of partnering with a renowned architect and designer, a good location and the appeal of serviced apartments should not be overlooked,” Liam Bailey, Knight Frank’s global head of residential research, says in the report.

Dubai, Miami, Nairobi and London are key cities that are increasingly being considered as investment hubs for HNWIs in their wider regions, the review states. The prime cities are enjoying the tag of ‘safe havens’ where the world’s wealthy seek to invest their money.

In Nairobi, four projects are among the latest luxury urban properties either in the pipeline or recently completed.

The luxury Miotoni Ridge, developed by Belgravia Services Ltd, was completed in 2012. The luxury gated community development in Karen sits on 8.1 acres. It comprises 14 five-bedroom stand-alone villas. Prices at the development start from Sh89 million.

The same developer is putting up Windy Ridge, also in Karen, on a 2.6-acre parcel. The five-unit project is set for completion this year. The storeyed five-bedroom luxury villas are ready for occupation.

Another luxury residential development set for completion this year, dubbed Dar Iman, has six five-bedroom houses. Each house sits on half an acre, on Farasi Lane in Lower Kabete. The offer price is pegged at Sh85 million.

According to the Knight Frank market snapshot, next year will welcome another development dubbed 94EastChurch, in Westlands, which is being put up by Ashleah Developers.

The Global Development Review says that ‘flight to quality’ is evident in nearly all prime residential markets “as buyers recognise the importance of getting the best properties in the best locations”.

The North America, Middle East and Africa markets are the most positive when it comes to anticipating sales and new buyer enquiries in the next 12 months.-The Star



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