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Big losses in Kenya, but a turnaround possible

One of the worst things that can happen to a property investor is to see a secure market that they had money in suddenly devolve into chaos. It is worse than losing money in terms of a bad property investment deal because while an investor can recoup some money from a poor deal with a depreciating property value, a situation like the one that sprung up in Kenya in the wake of the most recent election makes it hard for a person to do anything regarding their property investments and ultimately their own finances.

This is what has happened in the wake of looting and violence in Kenya, with domestic resources being burned and pillaged and foreign property investments being utterly destroyed and razed to the ground in some areas. In the violence that is occurring within the country of Kenya, there is no distinction between the foreign property investor that has just lost the residence they paid for and the worker within the country that has seen their business torched to the ground.

All in all, millions of dollars have been lost by all of the players and much of that money has come right from the property market as homes and businesses have been razed to the ground by the dozens.

However, amidst the chaos that has plagued Kenya and by extension the foreign property investors that were involved in that country, there is still some hope and that hope comes in the form of a story that really has very little to do with property.

A hardware shop in Mombasa was recently looted and the proprietor of the store threatened to put an Islamic curse on the thieves unless the looted material was returned within a specific amount of time. Because the thief was afraid of the curse, they actually ended up returning all of the looted material, much to the shock and surprise of many of the analysts that have looked on.

While these types of things have not been witnessed on a large scale, it is nevertheless an example of a place where things might be getting better at a very slow pace. The material that was returned, by the way, was largely raw materials consisting of different types of wood. This is the type of material that is going to be required in the rebuilding of the different pieces of property once the violence dies down and therefore if looting of places like that stops sooner rather than later it is of definite benefit to people interested in the Kenyan property market.