Real Estate news – The socks are super, thanks

When Chas Everitt International chief Berry Everitt noted late last year that the economic troubles abroad and the low rand exchange rate were generating renewed interest in SA property among overseas buyers, several media commentators expressed the opinion that he was smoking his socks.

But given recent events, there are many in the real estate industry that would probably like to share those socks – or even get some of their own.

Since December, Everitt says, his group has sold more than R75m worth of SA residential property to overseas buyers. Some of the properties sold are a Pecanwood Estate home in Hartebeespoort which sold for R8m; a property in George which sold for R12,5m; a Saint Francis property which sold for R4m and two Eagle Canyon properties in Johannesburg which were sold to the same buyer for R3m and R1,5m respectively.

“Europeans in particular are rediscovering SA’s sunny shores – and the fact that this country’s real estate market offers really great value for money when you have pounds or euros to spend, especially at the current exchange rates.

“What is more, we are receiving a daily stream of enquiries, especially via our websites, for both rental and for-sale properties from expats who urgently want to return home to SA because they believe their prospects in the wake of the global economic downturn are better here than abroad.”

The fact that the South African property market has to date weathered the storm better than most and that it will probably recover faster than its overseas counterparts is also attracting international property investors, adds Everitt, who also happens to be one of a handful of Certified International Property Specialists in the country.

And, he says, these trends are set to escalate further. “2010 Soccer World Cup prospects, a weak rand, great weather and a fantastic way of life will undoubtedly continue to draw overseas buyers to SA in increasing numbers.”

However, he does reiterate his previous caution that not all SA sellers should expect to find foreign buyers knocking on their doors. “Most overseas buyers only get to know about properties that are specifically marketed by real estate companies with international marketing reach. Sellers who want to tap into these markets must also work with an agent who is au fait with international as well as local market dynamics, can deal with potential language difficulties and is capable of providing detailed information on trends, forecasts and any legal and tax implications to potential buyers.”

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