UK and European buyers on a good wicket

Interviewed recently by South African Property News, a tabloid newspaper distributed only in the UK, Dante Fratti, CEO of D F Properties, which sells previously occupied homes in Century City, stressed that South Africa - and Cape Town in particular - have the ability to attract foreign buyers in a big way for the simple reason that their money here ‘goes a great deal further than it would in the places where they live’.

Asked recently to expand on this, Fratti said that D F Properties can offer a UK buyer at Century City typical two bed, two bathroom apartments for R950 000. This, he said, would be insufficient to buy even the simplest, most basic basement bedsitter in any of the more fashionable London suburbs and even in the country would certainly not be able to buy a unit with anything the standard and finishes of those on offer in Cape Town at that price.

“What is more,” said Fratti, “many of the developments which we are selling have additional communal facilities like spas, gymnasia, conference rooms and even Internet cafés.”

As the rental market at Century City is currently good, said Fratti, his team has no difficulty in finding short or long term tenants to occupy foreign buyers’ homes during the periods when they are not there. These rentals, he said, give good returns. A two bedroom unfurnished apartment in Villa Italia purchased at R950 000 could attract a monthly rental from R5 500 per month.

Foreign buyers buying property in South Africa are permitted to secure 50% of their funding from a South African bank and can often raise a further 30% or 40% from a UK bank. In both UK and South Africa, Fratti reminded buyers, interest rates are currently low. Furthermore, he said, there is a very strong possibility that the UK pound will strengthen over the next two years, making a purchase by a UK buyer even more favourable than it is at present.

“Add to all this,” said Fratti, “the fact that Cape Town has vineyards, beaches, mountains and entertainment facilities equal to some of the best in the world, it becomes clear that we should be cashing in to a greater degree than we are on the UK and European market right now - it has huge potential still waiting to be tapped, particularly now that the global recession is being slowly worked through.

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