There are vast property investment opportunities for local and international investors, who wish to capitalize on the growing Kenyan property market. Although the rates of return on foreign property investment in Kenya are high and to some degree guaranteed, they are only so when foreign investment is made in the right type of property and in the right location.
Kenya Foreign Investment Hotspots
The majority of foreign real estate investments in Kenya are mainly made in cities. These include areas such as:
Central Business Districts (CBD) of Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. These mainly attract foreign investors interested in commercial and residential properties, which generate high rental returns.
Most foreign commercial rental property investors investing in CBDs target companies and institutions with the capital and resources to invest in long-term rental properties. Some have ten-year lease periods.
The outskirts of the city, such as Kitengela, Athi River, Thika and Ruiru
Provide additional space to accommodate crowded residential areas of the city, especially for parking and traffic jams.
Profitable for foreign investors as they reduce development costs.
- Become a lucrative area for high-end and middle-class residential and commercial properties for organizations and individuals.
- Along highways and city roads that open up previously closed areas. The most notable highways which are increasingly attracting foreign investment include Mombasa Road, Thika Super Highway, Jogoo Rd, Ngong Rd etc.,
Most wealthy Asian and Middle Eastern investors prefer to invest in major cities in Kenya in an effort to reduce their investment risks and lower their investment costs.
The majority of European expatriates and other investors from the western world prefer to make their foreign investments in tourist areas with the aim of capitalizing on the thriving tourism sector in Kenya. The main areas of interest are:
Coastal areas of Malindi, Mombasa and Lamu
These resort towns recorded 20% growth for high-end residential real estate, beating international coastal cities such as Miami and Cape Town.
Significant foreign investment is being made in the development of 5-star hotels, resorts, luxury apartments, bed and breakfasts and restaurants.
Most notable are the foreign-owned villas and mansions that are springing up like mushrooms in these regions. The villas are used by foreign owners/investors for permanent residence, or for renting out to wealthy foreign/local tourists or alternatively for use as recreational areas when they come to Kenya for vacation.
National parks and wildlife conservation areas
Areas inside and outside national parks and wildlife conservation areas in Kenya are building their status as a hub for high-end residential properties for wealthy foreigners and locals retiring to these places, or those who see Kenya as an ideal leisure destination.
Foreign real estate investments made in these areas are mainly tourist lodges, luxurious country houses, ranches, wildlife sanctuaries and tourist hotels.
Places that have seen an increase in real estate investment due to their proximity to national parks and wildlife conservation areas in Kenya include:
- Laikipia: Home to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
- Mount Kenya region: home to major tourist lodges and wildlife conservation projects
- Tsavo East and Tsavo West: suitable for tourist lodges due to its rich flora and fauna
- Nakuru: low-cost foreign investment zone
- I turn it on: a rapidly growing new tourist town that is not only ideal for foreign tourism-related investment such as lodges and hotels, but also lucrative for agricultural investment due to its fertile horticultural farms.