Where are the foreign buyers coming from and where in SA do they buy?

November 25, 2015

In this feature we review the top hotspots for foreign buyers in SA. Specifically, we look at who is buying, which suburbs they are buying into and the types of properties they are purchasing.  
Research shows that African buyers in 2015 were particularly interested in the Sandton area. This five bedroom mansion in Sandhurst, Sandton, is selling for R38 million - click here to view.

This follows on from our study on the same topic last year.

Foreign buying has of course been significantly lower in 2015 when compared to 2014 as highlighted by a recent article on property24.

This is due to stricter visa requirements which make it more difficult for foreigners to visit South Africa and to stay in the country from more than 3 months.

Notwithstanding the decline, wealthy foreigners continue to buy South African properties, particularly those at the top end of the market.

If we look at the origin of these buyers, some notable trends start to emerge. According to Lisa Bathurst, director at Hurst & Wills: “A few years ago, we were seeing mostly European buyers, now there has been a surge in African buyers, especially from Angola and Nigeria. Africa is the hub of emerging industry these days, much like how Asia was a few years back. Buyers used to be retirees looking to spend half the year in SA to escape European winters; now we are seeing more foreign buyers actually looking to find a base for their business dealings on the continent. These buyers look to the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. Other buyers are looking to source lifestyle properties such as wine farms and lodges on eco nature reserves, as well as the traditional choices of holiday homes on the Atlantic Seaboard and the Garden Route.”

The following table gives an indication of the origin of foreign buyers in 2007 and 2015 with projections for 2017. As reflected, wealthy African citizens made up the largest share of the market in 2015.


Source: New World Wealth                                                                                                     

Our research shows that African buyers in 2015 are particularly interested in the Sandton area, central Cape Town (Greenpoint, V&A Marina, City bowl) and the big 5 luxury hotspots in Cape Town (namely Fresnaye, Bantry Bay, Llandudno, Clifton and Camps Bay).  
This wine and guesthouse farm in the Franschhoek valley has everything for the country lifestyle buyer. The property is on the market for R37 million - click here to view.

UK and EU buyers on the other hand, seem far more interested in estate properties, particularly those in Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and the Garden Route (Knysna, Hermanus, George, Wilderness and Plettenberg Bay). Umhlanga and Ballito on the east coast are also on their list, as are lesser known areas such as Greyton, Tulbagh, Zinkwazi and Keurbooms.

Specific estates that are popular for these buyers include: Fancourt, Zimbali, Pezula (golf and private), Pearl Valley, Val die Vie, Steenberg, Erinvale, Arabella, Pinnacle Point, De Zalze, Whalerock Ridge, Simola, Simbithi, Atlantic Beach, Stonehurst Mountain Estate and Thesen Island.

Another interesting trend is the emergence of wildlife estates, which are also becoming increasingly popular with UK and EU buyers. Notable wildlife estates in SA include: Mahathunzi, Raptor’s View, Shandon Estate, Gondwana Private Residences, Royalston Wildlife Estate, Kruger Park Lodge, Intaba Ridge and Hopewell Conservation Estate. Mahathunzi is a particularly interesting wildlife estate as it offers very large plots to buyers.




Wriiten by Andrew Amoils of New World Wealth

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