Foreign buyers flowing back to SA
There’s a new mood of optimism sweeping through the global property market in the wake of the US election outcome, and it’s generating renewed interest in SA real estate.

So says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, who notes that European buyers in particular are keen to invest in SA property once more, thanks to the weakness of the rand against their currencies and the relatively low prices.

“In addition, the SA market is in good shape and likely to recover faster from the global economic meltdown than the major European markets and the devastated US market, which means there are better prospects here for capital growth.

“So it is really no surprise that over the past two months the number of enquiries we have received from foreign buyers has increased substantially.”

This does not mean, though, that SA sellers will suddenly all find foreign buyers knocking on their door. “For one thing, the German, Dutch, Scandinavian and UK buyers who are interested in SA tend to target the more expensive, lifestyle properties and for another, they generally only get to know about those properties that are specifically marketed by real estate companies with international marketing reach.”

There are also other factors, Everitt says, that sellers need to take into account if they wish to target overseas buyers. “They should, for example, be careful to pick an agent that will inspire confidence in these potential buyers.

“People who don’t know our country or our customs and have never before done any business here will want to be sure they are dealing with a professional who will protect their interests. There may also be language difficulties that need to be overcome.”

Agents who deal with foreign buyers also need to be well prepared to discuss market dynamics and provide detailed information about price evolution in the past 12 to 24 months, trends, forecasts for the next two to three years and rental markets in specific areas, he says, as well as the legal requirements and tax implications of making a property purchase in SA.

“In short, foreign buyers need to feel totally comfortable that they are making a good investment decision and it is up to the agent facilitating the transaction to give them that reassurance.”

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