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Real estate top investment for diaspora cash

By Patrick Alushula | Jan 21st 2022 | 1 min read
By Patrick Alushula | January 21st 2022

Kenyans living and working abroad are putting most of their money in buying land and repaying mortgages back home, a Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) survey has shown.

The survey released yesterday showed real estate, mortgage repayment and purchase of food for relatives took up at least half of the $2.796 billion (Sh317.5 billion) diaspora remittances in 2019.

This means about Sh158.8 billion was put into the three uses with real estate and mortgage taking up most of the money.

“Slightly over half of the cash remittances were allocated to three uses: investment in real estate (land and building) for recipients, mortgage payment for senders and purchase of food and household goods,” the survey report said.

“In terms of the average amounts spent by individual respondents, two items stand out as the highest: investment in real estate for recipients and mortgage payment for senders.”

Kenyans who migrated abroad for employment invested more in real estate while those working in international organisations said they spend more on mortgage payments.

According to the survey, average value of remittances sent in 2019 was $6,000 (about Sh680,000 at current rates), with 71 per cent sending up to $15,000 (Sh1.7 million) in 2019.

The survey found that majority of Kenyans residing in Europe, Oceania and North America earn more than $50,000 (Sh5.7 million) a year, or Sh473,050 per month—making it the most lucrative zone.

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