According to a recent report by property firm Knight Frank, wealthy Italians are the leading group of high-net-worth individuals purchasing prime residential properties in Kenya. The report indicates that Kenya is becoming one of the most popular second-home destinations for the elite. The tropical climate in Kenya has attracted not only Italians but also the Dutch, Belgians, New Zealanders, Americans and French natives who are investing in residential properties.

The report goes on to say that when analyzing the data more closely, they can identify the lead international owners at the country level in various key prime markets in Kenya, including Italy, the United Kingdom (UK), Netherlands, Belgium, New Zealand, the United States and France. Coastal town of Malindi is one of the areas that has attracted many Italians, with one of the highest concentrations of residence and investments. Nairobi, in locations such as Karen, Rosslyn, Muthaiga, Runda, Nyari and Kiambu (Tigoni), are also popular among foreigners who are buying prime residential units.

Wealthy Italians are following in the footsteps of their British and American counterparts when it comes to global luxury real estate. Foreigners are a significant group of buyers of prime properties in Kenya, which helps to raise and sustain their prices. Prime residential properties are defined as those priced above $500,000 (Sh64.4 million).

The high-end homes recorded an average 3.77 percent price gain in Kenya last year, recording an upward growth for the second year, according to the latest Knight Frank Kenya Market Update. The wealth report also ranked Kenya as one of the global top real-estate investment hotspots after France, Spain, Italy and the UK.

Kenya was also ranked second by Africa’s super-wealthy individuals seeking second homes. When asked where they would purchase a new home, respondents said their top pick is the United Kingdom followed by Kenya, the United States, Australia and South Africa or Canada. The top-rated locations derive their status mainly from their convenience to dollar millionaires frequenting the countries for business and leisure.

In summary, Kenya is becoming an increasingly popular destination for the elite to purchase second homes. Wealthy Italians are leading the way in purchasing prime residential properties, followed by other nationalities. The high-end homes have seen a price increase for the second year in a row, and Kenya is ranked as one of the global top real-estate investment hotspots after France, Spain, Italy and the UK.