Margate and surrounding areas on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast drew many property investors during the recent summer holiday season - and most of them paid in cash.
Johan le Roux, owner of the local Aida franchise says: "We had exceptional sales during December, notching up 54% of our annual turnover, and experienced a healthy spin-off in January from investors who came to scout for property the month before.
"It was remarkable that about 60% of investors were cash buyers, and even more remarkable that many of them had existing units, which they asked us to sell only after concluding their new transactions. Usually, investors will make an offer on new property on condition that existing property is sold first."
Le Roux says investors are seeing long-term value in coastal property in general and in Margate and surrounding towns in particular. "Many of our recent buyers are from up-country and say they are favouring property investment in view of the current unpredictability on financial markets.
"They are using spare capital to invest in holiday property for own use or to be rented out short or long-term. The split between investments for own use and for rental income was roughly 50/50 this past season."
Sectional title units were popular and most investors bought at an average price of about R1,2m, he says, while a few bought more upmarket units at prices of up to R1,8m.
Le Roux adds that property in Uvongo, about 3km from Margate, featured strongly on investors' radar screens. "Thanks to several new developments, the stock position is excellent with units in the price range of just less than R1m to R1,5m offering good value. Some new developments are nearing completion, while others are recording strong off-plan sales."