Wealth Report

The number of High-Net-Worth Individuals (those worth over one million US dollars) dropped by 22% last year according to Knight Frank’s 2021 Wealth Report edition.

This is in comparison to a global decline of just 8% during the year. However, the firm predicts that over the next five years Kenya’s High-Net-Worth individuals (HNW) population will bounce back by 46%.

Many wealthy Kenyans admitted to the jitters caused by Covid-19 on the creation and preservation of wealth in the country.

The report also shows that 17% of ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) in Kenya are planning to buy a new home in 2021, with Kenya as their most popular destination, followed by the UK, US, South Africa and Canada.

Further, more wealthy Kenyans believe there are greater opportunities to make money in the country, compared to the opportunities available to them in other countries.

According to the results of The Wealth Report’s Attitudes Survey of Private Bankers and Wealth Advisors, only 19% of Kenyan high-net-worth-individuals (HNWIs) are considering applying for a second passport or new citizenship, indicating that they see many of the opportunities to create wealth lie at home. This compares with 39% of wealthy Chinese and a whopping 62% of HNWIs in Nigeria.

Wealth advisors revealed to the firm that in 2020, Kenyan clients allocated their property investment portfolio in the following property types: Residential private rented sector (PRS) (22%), Retail (17%), Offices (14%) and Retirement (13%).

The survey shows that that the top 5 property sectors growing in popularity with Kenyan UHNWIs for investments include: Retirement & Development land (38%), Residential private rented sector (PRS) (33%), Agricultural (29%), Healthcare & Retail (25%) and Offices (21%). Others include student accommodation and data centres (both at 13%).

“The pandemic is super-charging demand for locations that offer green spaces as more people are increasingly focused on wellness as they spent a great deal of 2020 at home, working remotely,” Ben Woodhams, Knight Frank Kenya MD said.

Last year, Kenya’s wealthy identified healthcare and retirement property as the most interesting areas for commercial real estate investment, a recurrent theme this year.

Wealth Report editor Andrew Shirley said the objective of the publication is to assess how and where the ‘one – per cent” are investing and what they are likely to do next in order to give policymakers and investors, insight into behaviour and attitudes to understand market and asset performance.

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