Kenyan real estate firms eye diaspora billions

Faith Mwaura of Re/Max

Kenyans in the diaspora have challenged the Government to offer tax rebates for those who want to invest back home. They also want companies offering services in the money market and unit trusts to reach out to them to support their efforts to invest at home.

Speaking in Canada at a recent property and investment expo, participants said the diaspora have a crucial role to play in growing the local economy. “We are willing to invest back home but we would like to deal with reputable and trustworthy organisations. We would also like to engage with more financial institutions that can tailor their products to suit us,” said Mr John Mwangi.

During the event, attended by three hundred Kenyans, there were presentations done by local companies on tax implications for Kenyans living abroad, who own property at home. “We are equipping them with good information and teaming the Kenyans abroad with the right companies. We have also taken note of the fact that many East Africans abroad are actually purchasing property in Kenya and we want to cast our net wider into the East African real estate and financial markets,” said Faith Mwaura, the RE/MAX franchise holder in Kenya, who organised the expo.

Among the exhibitors were the Higher Educations Loans Board, National Housing Corporation, Kings Pride, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ukulima Sacco. Ukulima Sacco’s Grace Njine said they would open a branch to bring services closer to Kenyans living in Canada to support them in investing back home more conveniently. She said they would hold more expos in London, Geneva Australia. The event was graced by the Kenyan High Commissioner to Ottawa John Lanyasunya.

Meanwhile, RE/MAX won the Best Real Estate Agency Award 2016 in the Jumia House Excellence Awards last week. “This was a significant achievement for the company and our clients especially given that we have only been in this very competitive market for less than three years,” said Mwaura.

The awards celebrate the excellence and achievements of the residential, commercial, retail and mixed-use real estate industry in Kenya.