Foreign and expat buying fever spills into Cape Town’s southern suburbs

The foreign and expat buying fever has spilled into Cape Town's southern suburbs, says Seeff's managing director for the area, Andy Todd. After an almost 5-year period during which buying by foreign nationals and South African expats were sporadic rather than a trend, about 20-30% of our buyers over the last few months fall into this buying category. Additionally, we have also seen an influx of upcountry buyers, mostly with the view to relocating to the city, he adds.

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While the depreciation of the rand has obviously made property here more attractive for buyers, Todd says that the upward trend should also be seen in the light of the improvement in the economies of the UK and Europe. Likewise, the growing trade on the African continent is adding to the increase in African buyers.

Bishopscourt agent, Ingrid McFarlane says that four of her seven recent sales were to foreign buyers. Aside from two homes that sold for R13,2 million and R16,5 million respectively, a four-bedroomed home in Kirstenbosch Drive sold for R24 million and a four-bedroomed home in Salisbury Avenue sold for R25 million; both to UK buyers.

Constantia Upper agents, Shelley Kruger, Janine Stevenson and Marie Durr say that three of their recent buyers were UK nationals planning to relocate to the city. Sales include a double-storey home in Peter Cloete Avenue that sold for R9,4 million, a home in Jacaranda Way that sold for R4,5 million and a property in Loquat Walk that sold for R5,8 million. A further five are buyers from upcountry looking to relocate to the city. The majority of our buyers though are still locals, but we have certainly seen an influx of upcountry buyers, mostly from the Johannesburg area.

Agent, Barbara Stephenson who operates in the Constantia hills and rural area says here too, she has seen an increase in interest from foreign buyers including two recent Kenyan nationals looking to invest in property. A noteworthy recent sale concluded by the agent is a four-bedroomed home located in Uitsig Close, a security complex that sold for R7,12 million to a buyer from London. Aside from the sale of a property for R4,1 million to a French national, agent, Nikki Edenborough also concluded the sale of a home for R4,35 million to a Cypriot who plans to relocate to the country in May next year. Two expat buyers also invested R3,5 million and R4,1 million respectively in homes that they will rent out until they return from the UK in 2015.

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New estates in the Constantia area are also attracting interest amongst foreign buyers, says Mandy Kuhn who recently concluded the sale of a three-bedroomed townhouse in the Nieuwe Steenberg development to a German buyer for R7 million.

The Newlands area too has seen good interest from foreign buyers according to agents Barbara van der Westhuyzen and Vanessa Clerke. About half of our recent sales were to foreign nationals, mostly from the UK. Sales include six homes that sold for upwards of R2,2 million in Avenue Road to R4,2 million in Upper Wheelan Street and three sales at between R5,45 million and R5,9 million. A lovely lock-up-and-go home close to the world renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens also sold to a Swiss buyer for R5,5 million.

The apartment and sectional title sector of the market is also seeing interest from foreign, expat and relocation buyers, says agent, Sean Guy. Both the affordability and cosmopolitan street-café culture have made the areas around Claremont, Kenilworth and Newlands highly sought-after. 

Recent sales to foreign buyers here include a two-bedroomed apartment at The Intaba in Upper Claremont that sold to a Chinese buyer for R2,82 million and a three-bedroomed duplex at Sevenoaks in Newlands that sold to a Zimbabwean buyer for R2,65 million.

Todd says this comes amidst a generic uptick in activity across the various neighbourhoods of the southern suburbs with buying activity up almost across the board; from entry level apartments to upper income homes and estates in the R10 million plus sector of the market. While buyers are spending anything upwards of R2 million to R25 million on homes, the foreign and expat interest is not driving prices up. Across the board, buyers are smart about what they are looking for and how much they are prepared to pay and it is rather due to the overall uptick in demand and stock shortage that sellers are seeing better offers.

The general upward trend in activity has seen most of the stock clear out of the market and stock shortages almost across the board. This is now an opportune time for sellers to put their properties up for sale as they are likely to get good offers, but we would urge them to act sooner rather than later if they hope to take advantage of the favourable selling conditions, concludes Todd.

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