World Cup benefits will be seen down the line
Anne Porter Knight Frank’s Camps Bay office fielded a number of enquiries from World Cup visitors regarding the purchase of property at the Cape and at least two of these could result in sales - but this experience was the exception rather than the rule, says Lanice Steward, Managing Director of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

“The reality has been that most of our offices saw no foreign visitors, nor did the huge influx of potential buyers predicted by some ever materialise,” she said.

Nevertheless, said Steward (who attended two World Cup matches herself), there are bound to be spin-offs for property down the line.

“A large percentage of those who came to South Africa from overseas have been impressed by all that we can offer here at the Cape and some are saying that it was the best World Cup ever. Of the 20 or more visitors to whom I have spoken, at least half have said that they will be returning for another visit and all have said that they now have a far more optimistic view of our country and its future.”

Negative publicity from the press and TV channels, “especially Sky News, some of whose statements verged on the scandalous”, said Steward, had been effectively countered by the pleasant experiences of UK, European and US visitors.

“The impression I now have is that crime will no longer be so serious a deterrent to foreign visitors - that bogey has at least temporarily been laid to rest. Many visitors have complimented us on how well managed the events have been, even when the security guards were on strike.”

Above all, said Steward, the visitors to whom she had spoken have been impressed by the friendliness of local people and their gratitude.

“This,” said Steward, “compares favourably with the reception many received in some previous World Cup events where certain sections of the population were openly hostile.”

The favourable reaction among visitors, Steward believed, is likely to result in a small but significant number buying in Cape Town over the next 18 to 36 months.

“Some visitors have indicated that they will not be back until the summer of 2011 - but in the interim they have assured us that they will be studying property prospects online and will be keeping their buying options open.”

Those who do buy at the Cape, said Steward, are in the strong position that South Africa has highly efficient rental management agents who will ensure that their properties are well looked after and let to reputable checked out tenants who, by and large, are reliable rent payers.

Those with a cautious attitude to buy-to-rent, said Steward, should take note that it is possible in South Africa to insure against rent defaults if the tenant has been thoroughly checked out and vetted by the insurance agency.

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