• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

    Older, Wealthier Kenyans Opt for Quieter, Smaller Homes

    ByJames Forsyth

    Sep 20, 2023
    Older, Wealthier Kenyans Opt for Quieter, Smaller Homes

    Real estate agents in Nairobi have noticed a trend among older, wealthier Kenyans who are selling their large homes in the crowded and upscale estate of Karen. As their children move out and the area becomes more developed, these individuals are seeking quieter and cosier spaces that require less maintenance. Many are downsizing to smaller properties in areas such as Maanzoni, Champagne Ridge, and Tigoni. Some are even relocating to Nanyuki, Naivasha, or the North Coast.

    Buyers of these smaller homes range from ultra-high-net-worth clients in business, Kenyans living abroad, and government officials. The buyers’ ages vary greatly, from 35 to 80 years old. It is interesting to note that the harsh economy has not affected the purchasing power of the wealthy looking to buy or rent homes in posh estates. The luxury market, in particular, remains strong and is not influenced by economic downturns.

    Many of the buyers are seeking passive income, especially Kenyans living and working abroad. The occupancy rate of homes in Karen is now at an average of 90%, making it a lucrative investment zone for those looking for passive income. Post-COVID, there has been a resurgence in prime purchases, with most buyers seeking second homes.

    In Karen, the most sought-after areas for renters are Marula Lane, Bogani Road, Ndege Road, and Hardy. Expatriates tend to prefer renting in Muthaiga and Gigiri due to the proximity of the United Nations offices and foreign embassies. However, more expats are now willing to live in Karen as it offers more greenery, space, and good schools.

    Prime residential areas are desirable due to their location, size, quality, and available amenities. These areas also have functioning residential associations that protect the neighborhood and have a say in development plans. Landlords renting to the wealthy enjoy the advantage of having long-term and stable tenants, unlike in middle-income or low-income neighborhoods where turnover is higher.

    Source: Maggie Macharia of Pam Goldings, Tarquin Gross of Knight Frank, Nation Lifestyle