Africans investing in South Africa

Jun 29, 2018 | Property Investment

Investors from elsewhere on the continent are showing a keen interest in South African residential property developments

The number of foreign buyers of residential property in South Africa remains relatively low, at somewhere in the region of 3% nationally, but investors from other African countries and returning expats are showing an interest in South African real estate, for a variety of reasons.

Homebuyers include citizens of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Angola, the DRC, Ghana and Gabon. The price range most in demand is from about R800 000 to R5 million, with some enquiries and transactions for properties costing R10 million and more. Many are company executives and entrepreneurs either travelling regularly to South Africa on business or establishing bases from which to expand their operations, not only in South Africa but also in other African countries. As they may spend considerable time in the country, it makes economic sense to buy a home here, a trend particularly evident in Gauteng in areas such as Fourways, Sandton, Sandhurst, Hyde Park and Houghton, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property Group.

“Others with children attending schools and universities here look to buy a home where they can reside when visiting during vacation periods, or a well-positioned apartment as student accommodation for their adult children, doubling as a sound investment. Some investors look to own a holiday home in a highly desirable location such as Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, Southern Suburbs or Blouberg area; the Boland and Overberg regions, in towns such as Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Hermanus, Kleinmond or Onrus; or the scenic Garden Route, for use by their immediate family members for short or extended time frames.”

Important considerations for these buyers are location, convenience and sound long-term investment performance, so they tend to look for new, secure residential developments and gated lifestyle estates in Johannesburg and Pretoria – notably Dainfern Estate in Fourways and nearby Blair Atholl, or suburbs like Illovo, Inanda and Kelvin, which are close to the Sandton business hub and OR Tambo International Airport.

In Fourways, a soon-to-be launched new development, Dainfern Square Luxury Apartments, have high appeal for local buyers as well as buyers from the rest of the continent. Priced from R1.75 million to R3.85 million, the two-bedroom apartments offer secure, hassle-free living, ideal for investment, permanent residence or partial use when in South Africa.

Other buyers, particularly those from Zimbabwe, not only look to buy residential property in Gauteng and the Western Cape but also seek coastal holiday and retirement homes in KwaZulu-Natal, with its temperate climate, or lock-up-and-go homes in areas where their children attend a private school or university, such as Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape. In KwaZulu-Natal, new developments such as Signature Sibaya on the North Coast have piqued the interest of buyers from Nigeria. They travel in Africa and want a base here – a holiday home that doubles as a place for business meetings.

ABOVE: Signature Sibaya is a new prime residential development near Umdloti on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, in the 1 000-hectare Sibaya Coastal Precinct. The architectural look is understated contemporary elegance. Glass, steel and timber create an organic feel, with sea views being the overriding feature and appeal of the estate.