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Africans invest in SA

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Expats and buyers from all over the continent show increasing interest in local real estate

Investors from Africa – including returning expats – have a growing appetite for South African real estate.

While the number of international buyers in residential property in South Africa remains relatively low at 3%, the number climbs somewhat when it comes to buyers from countries in Africa.

These include buyers from Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Angola, Mozambique, Angola, DRC, Ghana and Gabon.

These investors are mostly interested in property from around R800000 to R5million, with some enquiries and transactions up to R10m and beyond, says Pam Golding Properties.

Read: Property sales due to emigration are increasing

Many are business executives, including entrepreneurs, either travelling regularly to South Africa on business or establishing bases from which to expand their operations, not only in South Africa but also in other African countries.

As they may spend considerable time in the country it makes economic sense to buy a home here, a trend which is particularly evident in Gauteng in areas such as Fourways, Sandton, Sandhurst, Hyde Park and Houghton, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

“Others with children attending schools and universities here look to buy a home where they can reside when visiting during holiday periods or purchase a well-positioned apartment as student accommodation for their adult children, coupling as a sound investment.

Blouberg, Cape Town, is a desireable area for a getaway home. Picture: Tracey Adams/ANA

“Some investors look to own a getaway holiday home in a highly desirable location, such as Cape Town’s Atlantic seaboard, southern suburbs and the Blouberg area; the Cape’s Boland and Overberg regions, namely Stellenbosch and Somerset West or Hermanus, Kleinmond and Onrus; or the scenic Garden Route.”

With sound long-term investment an important factor, as well as convenience and centrality of location, new, secure residential developments and gated lifestyle estates in areas such as Fourways, Blair Atholl, Illovo, Inanda and Kelvin, which are in convenient proximity to the Sandton CBD and OR Tambo International Airport, and Pretoria, fit the bill.

“We see a large number of buyers from Africa investing in our new developments,” says Retha Schutte, Pam Golding Properties regional executive in Pretoria.

“As they tend to spend a number of days a month here to conduct business, they look mainly at furnished apartments that are available for the short-term rental market.”

Other buyers, particularly those from Zimbabwe, look to buy residential property in Gauteng and the Western Cape, and they also seek coastal holiday and retirement homes in KwaZulu-Natal, with its temperate year-round climate, or lock-up-and-go homes in areas where their children attend private schools or university, such as Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape.

Mozambiquan buyers are drawn to acquire property in towns such as Nelspruit, Komatipoort and Malelane, mainly as a result of cross-border trade between the two countries.

Kunaal Samani, Pam Golding Properties managing director in Kenya, says: “For Kenyans, many of whom have children studying at educational institutions in South Africa, the most attractive locations are Cape Town and Joburg.”

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