|At least one British travel group does not agree with the oft repeated claim that Cape Town is currently the Brit’s most popular holiday destination – but they do have encouraging news about South African property. |
In a survey taken of some 15 000 people who have travelled with them in the last years, the Laertes travel group, according to a Rawson Properties press release, found that the Cape ranked fifth behind traditional holiday areas of the south of Spain, Majorca, the Greek Islands and the south of France.
However, they also found that those who did come to Cape Town were more likely to buy property in the mother city than those travelling to any other destination on their travel list – and they serve some 20 countries. Nearly 30 percent of those who visited Cape Town returned for a second visit and significant numbers, says the survey, eventually bought a holiday or retirement home in the city.
Discussing the survey findings, Bill Rawson, chairman of Rawson Properties, says “it is clear that at current exchange rates, Cape property is still by far the best value that a Brit can find. In all the holiday destinations which proved more popular than the Cape, the prices per square metre ranged from 40 percent to 250 percent more expensive than Cape residential property of the same standard.”
The survey also indicated that Brits found they were more welcome and better treated in Cape Town than elsewhere.”
“The impression one gets from the survey,” said Rawson, “is that certain sections of Europe have been so over-run by tourists and that the locals have become tourist-weary – they simply cannot keep up the smiles, the one-on-one relationships and the warm friendly service.”
The survey also indicated, said Rawson, that the traditional picture of the UK buyer being only interested in top range property is now out of date: the vast majority of buyers at the Cape have put their money into lock-up-and-go one and two bedroom apartments, preferably sited so as to enable them to travel quickly and easily to the scenic and entertainment areas. These units were usually priced between R700 000 and R1,3 million. Areas with a good night life like Mowbray, Observatory, De Waterkant, Sea Point and Century City appear to be preferred above rural and suburban property.
“In the circumstances,” said Rawson, “it will pay a developer to establish permanent links with one or more UK agents, particularly those operating in the big cities. A member of my head office team will be contacting certain London and Manchester agencies with this in mind before the end of this year and we are hoping to build up a steadily growing UK clientele.”