South Africa’s property appeal grows for foreign buyers

    Foreign buyers are back and snapping up Cape properties for as much as R40 million to over R50 million.

    The Seeff Property Group reports higher sales turnover, for example achieving a 57-year high in March of R1,75 billion to conclude a great first quarter, boosted by a return of high value sales, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the group.

    Recent sales concluded by Seeff to foreign buyers include a luxury apartment at the V&A Waterfront Marina located on the canals sold for R45 million to a buyer from Germany. The property was sold before it was listed and for the full asking price. This is also the highest price achieved here since 2012.

    Seeff has concluded the sale of a R55 million property in Plettenberg Bay to a buyer from the UK which is one of the highest prices achieved for residential property in the town. This follows a recent R36 million sale to a UAE buyer in Fresnaye, several sales in Camps Bay, and two R20 million-plus sales in Constantia Upper to buyers from Zimbabwe and Malawi, respectively.

    Overall sales to foreign buyers across Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl are a whopping 36% higher compared to 2019 and is the highest in the past three years. Almost one third of all high value sales have been to foreign buyers according to Propstats data.

    According to Lyn Pope and Edith Marsh, agents with Seeff Camps Bay, there has been a notable rise in interest from foreign buyers in the Camps Bay area, mostly from Germany. They are looking at property in the R10 million to R30 million range.

    In 2020 calendar year, Lyn and Edith concluded 13 sales in Camps Bay, of which ten were to foreign buyers. These include R15 million (Rottingdean Road) to a UK buyer, R18 million (Beta Road in Bakoven) to a Russian buyer, R19,5 million (Theresa Avenue) to a Dutch buyer, R13,6 million (Beta Road in Bakoven) to a Swiss buyer and R11,5 million (Hely Hutchinson Avenue) to a Nigerian buyer. Several sales under R10 million were made to buyers from the UK, China, India, Canada and Germany. The team also concluded a joint sale of R21,5 million to an American buyer in conjunction with Pola and Nadine Jocum, also agents with Seeff Camps Bay.

    Seeff says that if you combine the value with what you can buy in South Africa with your dollars, pounds and euros, the value proposition is significant, not just for foreign buyers, but also for local high-end buyers. The luxury market offers one of the best buying opportunities in years, he adds. Prices have been flat for the last three to five years and you may find that sellers are more amenable to negotiating the price.

    Astute buyers are using the opportunity to pick up great value, albeit few and far between, he adds.

    Seeff says the market remains active and given that the interest rate is expected to remain at the low end for most of this year, the primary residential market is expected to continue surprising on the upside. Well-priced properties can sell within days depending on area and price band.

    Author: Gina Meintjes
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