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Impact of civil unrest on the Kenyan property market

For those investors not familiar with Kenya, the country has been an encouraging property investment for some time. A look back to last year may even show that it was an ideal place to invest. The question remains if the Kenyan property market will survive such civil unrest.

A walk through time

There are several hot spots throughout Kenya that continue to be beneficial investment areas. These are centred on tourism destinations throughout the country. While many believe that a strong economy and a good political system are necessary prior to investments of investors to be readily seen, this simply did not happen in Kenya. Investors were putting their money into the country long before it was considered safe or stable.

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The benefits of investing in Kenya are outstanding, which may be the reason behind such investment schemes. The cost of living here is very low. The country's stability had increased prior to the current problems. Infrastructures also have improved, making property investments not only more enjoyable but also much more profitable. Kenya also saw a rapid increase in the number of tourists coming in. About one third more tourists came to Kenya between 2002 and 2004. More so, property is readily available, making the increasing demand easily matched.

Current outlook

Most investors believe that until violence here settles, it may not be a good idea to invest at the moment. Then, it is important to consider the political situation in Kenya. Currently, the Kenyan Travel Authorities recommend avoiding travel directly to Kenya unless it is essential travel. This is especially true of Western and Nyanza provinces and the Rift Valley Province. Once these lifts are removed, tourism is likely to return to Kenya to prior levels.

While the current conflicts will play a role in what will happen afterwards, it is likely that any presidential situation would encourage tourism and travel to the country once safety is restored.

Rift Valley, Kenya Property markets that will see benefits in Kenya include tourism heavy destinations. For example, consider the parks found here such as National Parks or Game Reserves, which are very much in demand. In addition the coastal regions make for fine tourism destinations and are well sought after by European travellers. The city of Mombasa is particularly a good Kenyan property investment for tourism. In addition to these features, Kenya also offers ideal golf with courses offered near most large cities here.

Travel through Kenya is rather affordable. Prior to and likely after the current conflict, regular travel methods by airlines are available. And, with it being English speaking, the country offers many more opportunities for visitors than other countries nearby. UK nationals seem to enjoy the coastal areas in particular. Some areas are seeing the growth of second homebuyers from the UK and other European nationals.

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Why Invest In Kenya?

Why should investors invest in Kenya, an emerging property market as opposed to others such as Malta or Cyprus which are far more stable governmentally?

Nairobi skyline There are several reasons. For one, there are a number of tax treaties and investment promotions readily available to help encourage investors. The government, even through the current state of affairs, is still pro investment by foreign nationals, encouraging even in terms of drawing investors in. It is in an ideal location, within easy reach of many European countries. The economy is stable and even growing here.

Perhaps the most important considerations to investments in Kenya include the value of doing so. As the tourism industry here gains strength, nearly continuously, property will become more enticing to investors. Property values are still low, but growing steadily.

While property markets around the world are faltering, Kenya is an emerging market that looks good for the long term. It does not have over inflated property values like other investment countries. It also does not have high property prices which are likely to cause lesser investments in countries like Bulgaria and Cyprus by first time investors or those not willing to jump into these markets. Kenya does have a lot to offer to the investor, assuming they can weather the current storm of political unrest there.