Nairobi — The rising number of the middle class, especially wealthy younger people seeking to invest in Europe drove a United Kingdom (UK) property investment company, Baron&Cabot to set up operations in Kenya in a bid to support investors to source the right properties abroad.
The firm primarily is aimed at facilitating the provision of mortgages and buying of property in the European country which is considered one of the lowest risk investments in the world,
Mark Pearson, MD Baron, and Carbot, in an interview with Capital FM, said that nearly 200 Africans inquire about investments per month with the majority being the younger middle class who are interested in buying apartments in order to rent them out.
He noted that the firm which started Kenya operations in January 2022 receives 3-4 million pounds worth of investments per month and handles at least 2-to 3 Kenyan clients per month.
“Majority of these clients have an investment in Kenya but are looking for something else to de-risk that profile. With our program, Kenyans can invest internationally the same way others invest in Kenya and they are able to bring returns,” he explained.
A huge number of its clientele are seeking property homes for a holiday while another lot is seeking to diversify its asset portfolio.
Pearson noted that the increase in property prices in Nairobi is another factor that has led the local investors to opt for properties of a similar price range abroad which is less risky.
“With rising property prices, people are seeking to invest in England at a similar price and with a mortgage, they can be able to borrow more with lower interest,” he remarked.
The firm has no criteria and everyone is eligible to invest abroad. Pearson, however, noted that the firm conducts anti-money laundering checks to prevent the flow of illicit money into Europe.
As part of the process, checks are conducted by the firm and the client’s lawyer respectively to protect the interests.
“Before any money deposit, the firm independently conducts a check. Thereafter a lawyer who conducts the property check on behalf of the client conducts another money laundering check,” he explained.
As part of the challenges, it faces as it operates in the country the majority of Kenyans have a perception that property buying is a risky venture owing to common land and property fraud mainly caused by lack of digitization.
He assured that every single point of the UK’s property market is digitized, from land digitization, occupancy rates, and investors among others.