WC tourists home hunting

With South Africans wholeheartedly in the grip of World Cup Soccer fever, some of the international visitors to our shores are taking time out to view some of the prime-located residential properties on offer and already Pam Golding Properties (PGP) reports a number of enquiries mainly in the coastal areas.

Ling Dobson, PGP’s area principal in Knysna, says there’s been a surge in attendance at show days over the past two weekends. "We have had enquiries from French and Italian visitors, here for the World Cup, who are mainly interested in properties with sea views in the R3-million to R5-million price range for use as leisure homes when visiting South Africa on holiday.

We are also in contact with an Italian who is travelling to Knysna in two weeks’ time to view properties with a view to purchase. Even just prior to the World Cup we sold a property in Knysna to French buyers from Brenton-on-Sea.

"However, what is interesting is that suddenly the positive sentiment generally seems to have sparked a dramatic increase in enquiries from South African home buyers from Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town as well as local buyers in this area. While this demand is mainly for homes, there are also enquiries for commercial properties which is a very positive indicator," she says.

Dobson says with the new road around the lagoon now complete the entrance into Knysna is as appealing as any prime international resort. "The visitors are making good use of our walking and cycle paths, and they all love to walk. In addition to the World Cup, with the Oyster Festival taking place here soon, we believe over the next few months we will see increased activity in our property market," she adds.

In KwaZulu-Natal, PGP’s Umhlanga office reports strong interest from a number of German investors who are seeking leisure homes in the R5-million price range, located close to the beach and with sea views. "This is a group of friends who are all interested in property here," says Elwyn Schenk, PGP’s area principal. "They are very impressed with Umhlanga and know the PGP brand. In addition we are assisting a Brazilian buyer who says this is a fantastic place to buy property and is looking in the price range up to R1.7-million. Another visitor — a young, male UK buyer — is looking for an apartment close to the beach and in the R2-million price bracket."

"This illustrates the high desirability of South African property for international investors," says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group. "From this initial, encouraging response it is apparent that the Soccer World Cup is exposing our beautiful country to a broad cross-section of visitors for the very first time, and who hopefully will become regular visitors to our country."

In Rustenburg the local PGP office is holding a number of property expos — including an exhibition at the Wigwam Hotel — in order to showcase leisure property to visitors. PGP area principal Ian Straarup says overseas buyers are mainly interested in properties in a tranquil, scenic environment, particularly those which have a strong African flavour; for example game farms and smallholdings. "They are looking for value for money and probably properties ranging in size from 15 hectares, and not necessarily in residential areas."

Europeans love the Western Cape

Meanwhile from Germany, Gaby Moessner, PGP’s manager based in the Munich area, reports that World Cup Soccer fever is running high with considerable interest being shown in South Africa. "All over Europe and especially in Germany there is huge media exposure for South Africa. During 2009 and prior to this event 50 percent of my clients were those interested in buying a property in South Africa with a view to the World Cup; for example a guesthouse or B&B. These buyers were mainly from Germany, Austria and Switzerland with the main focus on the Western Cape and Somerset West in particular. The second highest interest shown is in Mpumalanga in areas such as White River and Hoedspruit with proximity to Kruger Park and value for money of key importance."

In terms of residential property, Moessner says currently enquiries are mainly for houses and apartments initially for holiday and later for retirement use. Most are in the price range from R2-million to R3.5-million and situated along the Garden Route, Eastern Cape and south coast of KwaZulu-Natal. "However, these are clients who have already visited South Africa or who are planning a trip after the World Cup. I definitely see good prospects for property sales following this event as many of our buyers first research the market and may then consider looking at homes for leisure or retirement at competitive prices," she says.

During the World Cup PGP has geared its website to assist international visitors. Firstly there’s an on-line version of SA Life magazine, which showcases all the regions of South Africa as well as some of its most sought after properties in an accessible electronic format and which can be viewed at http://www.pamgolding.co.za/news/events/discover-2010/sa-life/index.html. It also includes useful information on immigration and purchasing property as a foreigner.

For the added benefit of clients PGP is making available (from 18 June) appealing e-cards incorporating each of the regions around South Africa and which can be used to send to family and friends anywhere in the world. To access these visit http://www.pamgolding.co.za/news/events/discover-2010/index.asp.

Article from: www.iafrica.com