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Many properties on sale belong to those moving to distant pastures

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The FNB property barometer found emigration was responsible for increasing the supply of property in South Africa but agents in the Western Cape say this varies from area to area.

Nick Pearson, director of Tyson Properties Cape Town, says in their experience many emigrants were choosing to let their properties rather than sell.

“We get the overwhelming sense that most people emigrating still see the value of owning a property in South Africa and are going to wait to see the markets return before selling.”

Hayley Vann-Herbert, sales manager of Jawitz Properties Southern Suburbs in Cape Town, says: “We have had few emigration clients. However, the ones who aren’t selling in time have chosen to rent out their properties instead.”

Agents in the Parklands, Table View and Blouberg area were not seeing more emigration sales than in previous years. Daphney Klopper, franchisee with Rawson Properties Parklands and Table View, says news reports of the situation in South Africa have prompted some expatriates to sell their properties here.

“We are seeing some investors who have rental properties, and who are living overseas, disinvesting because of news reports revealing economical and political instability.

“However, our capital growth and rental returns in this area are exceptional, even compared to international markets, and even taking the rand fluctuation into account, which means most people retain their properties.”

Brett Leon, managing director of Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty’s Atlantic seaboard and City Bowl office, says emigrants will sell if they have a pressing time limit or if they need funds.

“Depending on affordability, generally property is quite a forgiving way to gear funds. Seldom will a property owner have to sell at a loss, but it does happen.” Virgilio da Silva, sales partner with Rawson Properties Claremont, spoke about one particular case.

“A recent emigrant seller sold two properties, achieving close to the desired price for one. After the second property had been on the market for five months, the seller accepted 10% less than their original asking price.”

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