Everyday homes are top agency’s real bread and butter

Everyday homes are top agency’s real bread and butter
10 November 2009
Although Sotheby’s International Realty is rightly renowned for marketing millionaires’ mansions around the world, it actually sells far more family homes, flats and townhouses in local suburbs.
“In fact,” says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA, “sales of these more modest homes make up the bulk of our business and are absolutely what kept us going all through the recession, when there were far fewer upmarket properties available for sale.
“And while big ticket sales for more than R5m are now increasing again, more than 70 percent of the homes we sell in SA are priced at less than R2m – and more than half of those are priced at less than R1m.
“Even more importantly, we don’t differentiate or stint on service to the owners of these properties. Our international marketing expertise and the influence of the Sotheby’s International Realty group are also available to all our clients, right across the price spectrum and in every area where we operate.”
Geffen also notes that ahead of the Soccer World Cup, increasing exposure of SA is driving up global interest in SA properties as investments, and that the demand among overseas investors is broadening to lower-priced apartments, townhouses and suburban homes as well as upmarket coastal and resort properties.
“The reason is that most of these investors are looking at the prospects for property here long after the soccer tournament is over. They are well aware that SA is unusual in its potential for market expansion over the next few years as hundreds of thousands of people – perhaps even millions – become increasingly economically empowered and enter the formal housing market for the first time.”
 What is even more exciting though, he says, is that SA property investors are becoming increasingly aware that they have a potential gold mine right on their doorstep, and are starting to accumulate portfolios of local properties rather than spend their money offshore. ”Indeed, the shrewdies are out in full force.”
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