Survey. A holiday home ranks highest as the main reason for buying a home

A section of house units at Awali Estate in Kilifi County (Omondi Onyango)

One in three people are expected to move homes in the next one year owing to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report shows.

The Knight Frank Kenya Buyer’s Survey 2020 further shows that 50 per cent of people polled expect the value of their property to fall over the same period.

Of the individuals likely to move, most preferred to stay in the same location they are in but move to a different property.

“Their preference to stay in the same location suggests that buyers are happy with the area they reside in, but not the homes or environment they live in,” said the report.

“People choose where they live based on factors that include housing prices, disposable incomes, proximity to work and access to schools, among others.”

In terms of buying motives, acquiring a holiday home ranked highest as the main reason for purchasing a new home for 18 per cent of respondents. “We have recently witnessed a surge of inquiries for prime properties at the Coast and upcountry.”

“This suggests that as the pandemic has forced many to stay indoors, through government and health directives, it has stimulated buyers’ interest in homes that they can use as an escape or refuge,” said the report.

Home offices, greater privacy and outdoor space are top priorities for buyers with 77 per cent of respondents are more likely to work from home.

The report analyses the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on residential buyer attitudes in the country.

In terms of lifestyle, 54 per cent of respondents say that they are more likely to buy a detached family home than they were before Covid-19. Fifty per cent of the respondents answered that they are less likely to want to live in an apartment in the future. 

Releasing the report, Knight Frank managing director Ben Woodhams, said that 2021, as businesses continue to reopen a gradual recovery was expected.

“Over the course of the pandemic we have seen reduced sales pricing and discounted rents, a trend we anticipate will continue into next year. As businesses continue to reopen, however, we expect to see a gradual recovery, so buyers may need to act quickly to capitalise on the present price levels.

“Looking at the residential market recovery, Kenya’s unique position as a regional business hub, together with current government interventions, will also go a long way in supporting this,” he said.

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