Real estate opportunities now in Swaziland

The worldwide economic crunch has left its mark on the tiny mountain kingdom of Swaziland – but also created opportunities for South African property investors.

Gaetan Ning, owner of the local Aida franchise, says residential sales in the country have dropped about 20% since last year, while auction numbers are up. “Local buyers are cautious and we are seeing the impact of the recession on our market for second and third homes, traditionally the mainstay of the local property market.

“However, Ezulwini is bucking the trend. It is becoming a tourism hub and we are seeing a strong migration of local middle class buyers to the area. This has led to a surge in local prices with a jump from an average R150/sqm a year ago to the current average of R200/sqm – a spectacular achievement in the current economic climate.”

Ning adds that SA buyers are still showing interest in Swazi property. “A current trend is investments in golf estates, especially Nkoyeni, about 45km from Mbabane, where stands of 2000sqm sell for around R500 000. This is excellent value when compared to prices in South African golf developments,” he says.

Swaziland’s relatively low crime rate and the slower pace of living contribute to the country’s allure for South Africans wishing to invest in holiday properties or second homes, he says.

“The decrease in interest rates, however, will hopefully spark renewed activity in the market as a whole and we are, in fact, quietly optimistic that the market in general will start showing a recovery. To this end, we have just appointed Paula Jacobs, an experienced local agent, as office manager and we are in the process of recruiting more agents in anticipation of better times ahead.”

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