12 Feb 2013
Namibia is experiencing interest from South African home buyers, mainly from those wanting to buy homes in Windhoek and leisure and residential properties in Swakopmund.
This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
On February 5th 2013, Dr Golding spoke in Windhoek at an event which officially marked the successful launch of the new Pam Golding Properties’ (PGP) operation in Namibia and the opening of a second PGP office this month in Swakopmund. The event was attended by prominent local government and business leaders, including those involved in the property industry in Namibia. PGP Namibia providesa broad range of specialised and advisory services which include residential sales, letting and property management and property developments.
Dr Golding says due to its proximity, Namibia remains an attractive option for South Africans, including real estate investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios. Many of the enquiries are for Swakopmund as the town is a sought after recreational centre. "With similar banking and property laws, Namibia is a ‘familiar’ environment for South African investors – residential property can be purchased and sold without restrictions and offers sound returns."
He says the appeal of the property market is supported by the fact that Namibia is part of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and the Southern African Development Community, which plays a significant role in facilitating trade between the countries. All indications show this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. He says further positive news is that the Namibian economy is showing resilience in the face of the global economic challenges and they see the potential for growth and increased cross-border trade in regard to the Namibian and South African housing markets.
“We have every confidence that our Namibian operation will continue to increase market share as they imprint the PGP brand during 2013 in the central region of the country," Dr Golding says, adding that a third PGP office is already planned for Walvisbay. Although a relatively small market, house price growth and activity levels in Namibia have been impressive and according to the latest House Price Index from FNB, in 2012 the average house price increase was 22 percent.
Nationally, the average price for a small house was N$250 000, a medium sized house N$560 000 and a large house N$950 000. However, he says in the larger centres, such as the capital city of Windhoek, prices are higher and they find that most activity is between N$1.5 million and N$3.5 million for houses, and between N$900 000 and N$2.5 million for new sectional title units.
PGP Namibia is also getting enquiries from buyers in Angola, particularly for Windhoek leisure, residential and commercial properties. Leon Jooste, joint shareholder of PGP Namibia says it has become an attractive shopping and holiday destination and the ongoing development of new transport infrastructure in Angola, combined with a trade regime between these two countries, augurs well for this trend to continue and grow. Currently, enquiries for residential property in Namibia are 10 percent from South Africans, 20 percent from Angolans and the remainder from local buyers.
Jooste says from a business perspective, Namiba is an excellent entry point from where investors can launch businesses into the rest of Africa while Windhoek makes a strong case for corporate headquarters with excellent support structures, good logistics and an appealing quality of life. He says there are attractive investment opportunities available in new developments in Windhoek and the immediate surrounds. Some of the opportunities are in new residential developments, where demand continues to outstrip supply. New units priced between N$1.2 million and N$2.5 million offer the potential for sound capital growth and return on investment. "In addition, there is also a strong demand for livestock and game farms all over the country, with prices having increased considerably due to high demand and the flourishing agriculture and tourism sectors,” says Jooste.
Paul Kruger, a shareholder of PGP Namibia says the trend towards the development of lifestyle estates will continue with new estates in various stages of planning. One of these is the strategically located “Eros Valley Golf Estate” which is being conceptualised and is expected to become a successful world-class estate right in the middle of a Windhoek suburb. PGP is currently marketing Omeya Golf and Residential Oasis, Namibia’s first residential golf estate situated 25 kilometres south of Windhoek. He says Omeya offers a combination of different sized stands, sectional title units, a retirement component and commercial opportunities as part of the ‘village’ development.
“While most development in Namibia occurs in the major centres of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvisbay, it is anticipated that a number of smaller towns will benefit by the emergence of new mines," Kruger says, with towns like Arandis in the Erongo Region and Otavi in the Otjozondjupa Region receiving an influx of new residents once the mines become a reality, which he says will create interesting opportunities for developers and investors.
Kruger says in Namibia’s hospitality sector, many new locations have been unlocked for tourism development. “There are many untapped opportunities for new products, along with current products available in a number of locations. Swakopmund remains one of the most popular tourist destinations and various B&B establishments are available in the market.” PGP Namibia also has a portfolio of lodges on the market in various parts of the country, as well as a boutique hotel in Windhoek.
Dr Golding says with the PGP group’s continued foray into markets in Africa, they will look further afield to find real estate partners in East and West Africa, including possibilities in Tanzania and Angola, as they remain optimistic about the Africa region and specifically, their opportunity to be the preferred property services company of choice throughout the continent over the medium-term.
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