Why buy property in Cape Town?
Often listed as one of the top ten destinations in the world, Cape Town has become one of the most sought after property markets worldwide.
Heralded as the Saint Tropez of Africa, the reowned Atlantic Seaboard is called Paradise by many an experienced traveller, and is home to a number of blue flag beaches. Table Mountain is one of the New7Wonders of Nature, offering a birds-eye view of the city’s sun-drenched mountains, breath-taking coastlines, phenomenal sunsets and natural splendor; all major draw cards for property buyers.
The Cape Town property market offers a variety of home choices to suit the individual needs of any discerning buyer; from sprawling ocean-view homes, Mediterranean villas, and art-deco beachfront apartments, to Victorian mansions, and luxurious private vineyard homesteads. This combined with international affordability, excellent weather, rich cultural heritage and a cosmopolitan lifestyle has made Cape Town a property buying hotspot amongst international home buyers and investors alike.
What is a buyers agent and do I need one?
Buyer's agents are professionals acting exclusively on behalf of a property buyer, assisting the client throughout the entire purchasing process; from sourcing properties that correspond to the clients’ requirements to negotiating the best possible price and terms with the seller. We can often negotiate a better price than a private buyer could manage because they have local knowledge and networks.
Buying agents look at the different markets, keeping abreast to countries and areas offering the best returns. It is our job to know how the markets are performing, identifying the key markets to invest, as well as be aware of financial, tax and legal implications that may impact your decisions. We can preview properties on behalf of our clients, short-listing only the most suitable, saving you time and costly mistakes.
As an independent company, we work exclusively for the buyer. This allows us to offer the largest possible portfolio of properties, and give advice that best serves our clients’ interests.
What are the tax implications for non-residents purchasing property?
Each country has it’s own tax system, and the tax implications of any property purchase must be considered. Income Tax from rental income, and Capital Gains Tax are the most commonly levied taxes globally. However, each country has its own additional taxes that will need to be assessed. Sometimes, non-residents are exempt, and there are ways of structuring your property investments to be as tax efficient as possible. We can not offer conclusive tax advice, however we are able to give you a general idea and refer you to a specialist partner who can assist in your specific circumstances.
What is the process to fund a foreign property purchase?
South Africa's well established legal framework offers the first world security of title to foreign buyers of immovable property. There are no restrictions on the ownership by non-residents of property situated in South Africa. Purchases can be funded locally, (on the basis that foreigners can borrow up to 50% of the purchase price) or can be funded from overseas by electronic transfer.
Similarly, property overseas can be funded using money from South Africa. There are limits as to how much can be repatriated annually, though currently you can utilise your individual offshore allowances of up to R11 million (R10m foreign capital allowance and a R1 million discretionary allowance) per calendar year. There are also ways of obtaining a bond to maximise your investment, both locally and offshore, borrowing up to 60% at attractive interest rates.
Why invest offshore?
With an unpredictable political system and volatile currency, South Africans are increasingly looking to keep their money offshore. Whilst stocks have always offered attractive returns for investors, property is considered the most stable asset to compliment any wealth strategy.
At present, the South African economy accounts for less than a percent of global GDP, and order to benefit from global growth, it is important that South African’s invest in markets that are offering better growth. Owning property in hard currency is a sensible hedge against rand investments, and returns from property can usually provide both capital growth and an attractive monthly yield. It’s also an asset class that can easily be leveraged, and can usually be structured tax efficiently.
For some people, owning property overseas is not just about the returns, but may be as part of a life plan for themselves and their family. Some South Africans are investing in property to acquire residency, ensuring a plan B for their future or an overseas education for their children.
Why is Hurst & Wills best positioned to assist?
Hurst & Wills prides itself on its local and global expertise. We are experienced in working with foreign buyers, and know how to implement overseas purchases through end to-end-service. From both a personal and professional point of view, we can relate to your concerns, and understand what it means to be an international landlord and foreign investor. We take a holistic approach to property investment, by looking at clients individual needs and motivations, as well as being able to provide a global perspective on the property markets in general.
Are Hurst & Wills an estate agency?
No. Unlike estate agents, Hurst & Wills offers impartial advice, employing our local knowledge and understanding of international buyers. As an independent company, we work directly with sellers, vendors, agents and developers to offer a range of options, most suitable for you. The service is a thorough hand-holding experience, advising on international property, conducting viewings on your behalf and creating a shortlist of potential properties for you to consider.
How does the process work with busy international clients?
Communication and transparency is at the heart of our company ethos. Not only will we go above and beyond to offer you personal service, we will do it 27/7. You will receive regular email, video and telephone updates. When sourcing a property, we will be in touch with you as often or as little as you like. We will do the viewings for you to shortlist only the very best for you to consider, and if you would like, we can oversee the buying process on your behalf.
What is the first step taken after making an initial enquiry?
We always offer clients a complimentary initial consultation. This allows us to get to know each other and determine your requirements. Our next step is to put together a bespoke solution in way of a proposal. The proposal outlines our suggested solutions, T&Cs and any fees involved. Once agreed upon, a contract or reservation form will be signed, signalling the start of, what we hope, will be a life-long working relationship.
What is a 'Golden Visa' and what are the steps involved to get one?
The Golden Visa programme was launched by the Portuguese Authorities in 2012aimed at attracting foreign investment into the country. The programme allows investors from non-EU countries to obtain a residency permit and eventual passport for themselves and their family, granting them access and visa free travel within the Schengen space, Ireland and the UK. The Golden Visa is one of Europe’s most attractive residency options, due to its relative affordability (from €350K) and extremely reduced minimum stay requirements (7 days per annum).