8 Reasons Why you Should Invest in Property in Kenya
Real estate investment is the purchase of a future income stream from property and can offer several advantages over other types of investments, including potentially higher returns, stability, inflation hedging, and diversification. Here are some of the key reasons to consider investing in real estate.
Earn Passive Income for Life
The number one reason to invest in real estate is to generate a passive income for yourself so you can enjoy more of the things you want. However, not all real estate investments are created equal. Maybe you are hesitant to invest in real estate because you’re not looking for another full-time or part-time obligation. Maybe the thought of owning and maintaining an investment property on the other side of the country sounds daunting and difficult to do with your already busy schedule.
High Tangible Asset Value
Unlike stocks, and to some extent, bonds, an investment in real estate is backed by a high level of brick and mortar. This helps reduce the principal-agent conflict or the extent to which the interest of the investor is dependent on the integrity and competence of managers and debtors. Even real estate investment trusts (REITs), which are listed real estate securities, often have regulations that mandate a minimum percentage of profits be paid out as dividends.
A long-term real estate investing strategy is an effective hedge against inflation because the value of this asset class has historically increased at a rate similar to the rate of inflation. You are thereby ensuring that your “real” or hard asset will help maintain your wealth and your standard of living.
Increased Cash Flow
A fundamental benefit of real estate investing is its potential to generate income, especially over the long-term as your mortgage is paid down. The income generated from your investment property will often be sufficient to offset your mortgage payment, taxes, condominium fees and other expenses, while still providing you with increased monthly cash flow.
Your cash flow will be strengthened over time as you pay down your mortgage and funds can then be used to supplement your retirement income.
Real Estate is a Renewable Source of Capital
Investment real estate also provides you with a renewable source of capital through re-financing options, as property values increase and mortgage financing decreases over time. This renewability can effectively offset the potential diminishing capabilities of your RRSP.
Another benefit of investing in real estate is its diversification potential. Real estate has a low and in some cases negative, correlation with other major asset classes. This means the addition of real estate to a portfolio of diversified assets can lower portfolio volatility and provide a higher return per unit of risk.
The inflation hedging capability of real estate stems from the positive relationship between GDP growth and the demand for real estate. As economies expand, the demand for real estate drives rents higher and this, in turn, translates into higher capital values. Therefore, real estate tends to maintain the purchasing power of capital by passing some of the inflationary pressure on to tenants and by incorporating some of the inflationary pressure in the form of capital appreciation.
The Bottom Line
Real estate is a distinct asset class that is simple to understand and can enhance the risk and return profile of an investor’s portfolio. On its own, real estate offers competitive risk-adjusted returns, with less principal-agent conflict and attractive income streams. It can also enhance a portfolio by lowering volatility through diversification. Though illiquidity can be a concern for some investors, there are ways to gain exposure to real estate yet reduce illiquidity and even bring it on-par with that of traditional asset classes.