Nairobi's Karen estate ranks among world hotspots

Karen neighborhood (PHOTO: FILE)
NAIROBI, KENYA: Nairobi’s Karen has featured among global neighborhoods that are likely to outperform regional markets in the next five years.

Karen featured in a survey by Knight Frank which sampled districts across the world whose location, infrastructure and vibe mean they are set to outperform the competition.

Other areas ranked alongside Karen include Financial District (New York), Brentwood (Los Angeles), CBD (Cape Town), Bayswater (London), Palm Jumeirah (Dubai), and Forest District (Sydney) among others.

“The ability to identify the hotspots of the future is arguably the one superpower most investors and second home buyers would choose to be blessed with to enable them to stay one step ahead of the crowd,” says the Knight Frank 2018 wealth report.

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“Our global teams share their local market insights, pinpointing the neighbourhoods they think will outperform their wider city or regional markets over the next five years. For some, transport improvements play a significant role; for others, new industries or an area’s comparative value explain their selection.”

Karen is a wealthy suburb of Nairobi some ten miles west of the CBD, named after Karen Blixen, the Danish expatriate who lived here in the early 20th century and famously wrote about her experiences in the book Out of Africa, subsequently made into an Oscar-winning film.

From the early 2000s, growth was rapid, with many of the original five and ten-acre plots developing into modern housing clusters with shared amenities such as club houses, gyms and swimming pools.

This period saw land prices soar from Sh2.3 million per acre to their current levels of overSh 50 million per acre, where they have now stabilised.

The market for these townhouses has become somewhat saturated, with a subsequent plateauing of both house prices and land values.

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Typically, houses currently sell for around 80 million to 110 million shillings, although we are now seeing record prices being achieved for larger stand-alone houses with more substantial gardens.

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