The profile of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, as an attractive real estate investment destination will receive a boost in 2016 from it expanding retail shopping experience that has seen the number of malls jump in the East African nation.
According to the Knight Frank Global Cities 2016 survey [pdf], Nairobi is among four other cities globally that are likely to witness an increase in property investor interest.
The report showed that more than 1.8 million square feet of modern shopping mall space was opened in 2015 in Nairobi, more than double the 980,000 square feet that the city had previously.
“This amounts to a revolution in the city’s retail experience, which matches the huge economic and demographic changes that have unfolded in Kenya,” James Roberts, chief economist at Knight Frank, said.
“In 2016 and 2017, a further 1.3 million sq ft of modern retail space will complete development in Nairobi.”
Kenya’s middle class has been on the rise over the last decade as the East Africa’s largest economy lead other regional countries in registering more than five percent average annual growth.
Nairobi’s real estate attractiveness as also been boosted by more global corporations looking to establish an office to cover East Africa.
“This is partly due to a growing realization by many multinationals that sub-Saharan Africa is too big to be serviced just out of an office in South Africa,” Roberts said.
“Nairobi is expanding from being the economic focus of East Africa into its biggest modern shopping destination.”
Other cities mentioned in the Knight Frank report include Kualar Lumpur in Malaysia due to its expanding transport infrastructure due to rapid urbanization, Moscow in Russia due to decreasing office rent and Bangkok city in Thailand due to its expanding central business district.