FROM THE DESK OF THE MD
PUBLISHED 4 SEP 2018
Spring is in the air, and with it the pleasing prospect of the annual inflow of foreign tourists to SA - and property investors – as the Northern Hemisphere winter starts to set in.
This migration may be difficult for us to understand, given our local considerations about corruption, governance and political infighting, but one just needs to consider the property value for money that is available in SA to appreciate the interest in owning a second home here.
According to recent report released by property data company Lightstone, that interest has shown a definite increase in recent times. Foreign ownership of SA property was up 42% in January this year compared to January 2017, with Gauteng accounting for 47% of the transactions concluded by overseas buyers, and the Western Cape 36%.
The most popular price bracket for foreign buyers in Gauteng is R3m to R4m and the most popular in Cape Town is R4m and more. There is also strong demand in both regions for homes priced at R2m to R3m – which will still buy you a lot of home in SA compared to the UK or Europe.
For example in Northcliff, which is currently the top pick of foreign buyers in Greater Johannesburg, the median home price is currently around R2,2m (about US$152 000), for which one can buy a luxury three-bedroom apartment with stunning views or a four-bedroom family home with expansive gardens.
In Century City, the area that is currently attracting most foreign buyers in Greater Cape Town, the median home price is currently around R2,9m (or US$200 000), for which one can acquire a luxury, fully-furnished, two-bedroom apartment in one of the city’s most sought-after live-work-and-play precincts.
Add this type of value to our wonderful climate, wide-open spaces, friendly people, relaxed lifestyle and the Rand’s favourable exchange rates against dollars, pounds and euros, and it’s clear that we have a property-plus-lifestyle offering quite enticing enough to actually prompt permanent relocation and investment into SA rather than just “snowbird” buying - especially among those affluent British, European and Eastern investors for whom summer is always too short.