American interest in SA property surges

25 Jun 2010

There is increasing interest from the USA in the local residential property market.

Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group, says his company has noticed a dramatic increase in the number of website visits from the United States of America – “to the extent that this group, in terms of foreign interest, is now only second in number to the amount of visits we receive on our website from those in the UK”.

“This is somewhat revealing, as to date, it appears that Americans comprise the largest group of overseas visitors coming to South Africa during the Soccer World Cup, so it seems that awareness of South Africa has certainly increased among Americans. Another positive factor is that we are also seeing a growing number of enquiries regarding the SA property market from international journalists, who are showing interest in most of the regions around the country,” says Golding.

Other countries currently showing the most interest in the SA property market via PGP’s website are: Germany, Netherlands, Australia, Mauritius, France, Switzerland and Canada. And during the Berenberg Masters Golf Tournament recently held at Fancourt, 140 high net worth clients and wealth managers of Berenberg Bank visited the Garden Route and during their stay viewed properties in the region.

Popular among overseas visitors and leisure property owners, Knysna, and the Garden Route, sees an annual influx of international “swallows” during the period from September to April. With its spectacular scenery, outstanding golf courses and outdoor activities and safe and relaxed lifestyle, many overseas buyers look to retire here either now or in the future, and they tend to look in the price range from R2,5m upwards for a lock-up-and-go home either in a secure estate or close to the beaches.

In St Francis Bay, PGP reports that overseas buyers generally spend six summer months there, buying mainly in the lower price range from R1m up to approximately R3m. These are mostly UK buyers as well as a number of Dutch and Scandinavian purchasers. In East London overseas buyers wanting to retire in South Africa seek homes mainly in the R2m price range but also up to around R6m – in good urban locations such as Bonnie Doon and Nahoon – and sometimes in gated estates but mostly a good middle size home with an attractive garden.

“Generally the foreign retirees in Port Elizabeth are those who have either worked there or had businesses in the area prior to retirement. They also receive enquiries from foreigners in the middle age group, mainly Dutch and German, looking at guesthouse options where they can scale down, yet still have a business interest with an income to sustain mainly their cost of living instead of just living off their capital.”

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