Property Flash


This is a guest piece by Pam Golding Properties

Recently dubbed the promising ‘Singapore of Africa’ in economic news headlines, Kenya has another ace up its sleeve – its idyllic East Coast, popular among locals although previously a hidden gem globally – which is now attracting international residential property buyers.

Shaif Sharif, head of sales for Pam Golding Properties Kenya said South Africans were being attracted to the beauty of the coast and the value for money offered by the east African country.

“Already popular among Kenyan high net worth investors and leisure buyers, the East Coast is attracting foreign buyers mainly from European countries such as Germany, France, Britain and Italy. However, it has exactly the kind of qualities and amenities which appeal to South Africans, and is easily accessible both logistically and from a foreign ownership perspective,” Sharif said.

“Firstly, there’s the tranquillity and exceptional lifestyle. With its shimmering, clean beaches, affordable living standards, easy access to amenities such as clean electric power, clean water, road infrastructure, attractive homes, and most importantly, reliable and fast internet and mobile connection, the expansive Kenyan Coast is a drawcard for both local and international buyers looking for peace of mind,“ he said.

The Kenyan coastline is within easy reach of SA with flights into Jomo Kenyatta Airport approximately four hours from OR Tambo International Airport and 6 hours 45 minutes from Cape Town. From there affordable, approximately one-hour flights take you to one of the four airports along the coast, in Lamu, Malindi, Mombasa and Diani, with Moi International Airport in Mombasa being the largest in the region. There is also an airstrip in Vipingo, an up-and-coming area on the East Coast.

The port city of Mombasa is well established as the second biggest city in Kenya, and the main gateway to East Africa. It is connected by railway and road network to the capital city of Nairobi. On the Southern Coast, Diani is smaller, but doesn’t lack any amenities, with power, water, internet and shopping centres readily available, and the same applies to Malindi to the North of Mombasa.

“Lamu is more of an Island setting, with beach homes, and an old town area where the locals reside. There are plenty of top, world-class, restaurants and hotels available all along the Kenyan Coast,” said Sharif.

Foreign ownership in Kenya is straightforward, with an advocate required to facilitate the process, and is on a leasehold basis, typically 100 years, with a nominal land rent tax payable.

“For international buyers, it’s an ideal lock-up-and-leave holiday home to spend several months in a year, especially during the winter months in Europe, while others acquire a property as a permanent residence to spend their heydays in a peaceful and culturally rich environment, with protected Marine Parks to explore, with an abundance of sea life,” said Sharif.

The Kenyan Coast is shielded from the elements, so it doesn’t experience strong winds or unpleasant storms.”

Urvi Jethwa, coastal region manager for Pam Golding Properties Kenya says the East Coast offers value for money for home buyers.

“For example, a six-bedroom mansion can be acquired priced from €1m, while approximately 2.5m can secure a dream property with magnificent views and high-end finishes right on the beach line. Positively, there are some new developments that have sprung up along the coast which are in the affordable range of around €90 000 for a three-bedroom cottage or bungalow in a gated estate, that are attracting younger buyers. Kilifi is another up-and-coming, burgeoning area where land is still affordably priced from €200 000 per acre for beachfront land, and from €30 000 upwards for an eighth of an acre,” says Jethwa.

Residential properties along the East Coast are less expensive than in the capital city of Nairobi, where prices have soared over the past year due to the population boom and lack of land for expansion.

“Residents and holiday visitors to the East Coast are spoiled for choice in regard to beaches. This region is home to renowned Diani Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches along the coastline; Bamburi Beach towards the north, which is very well established with top-end beach hotels and restaurants; Watamu Beach, which has a Marine Park Reserve; exceptional Silversands Beach in Malindi; and more great beaches in Lamu,” Jethwa says.

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