South Africa – A world in one country
“A world in one country” – an expression very aptly associated with South Africa and its diverse natural beauty. It enjoys one of the highest rates of sunshine per day in the world, thereby offering enviable, outdoor lifestyle adventure activities which are rare to many other countries and continents. South Africa is one of the most beautiful, hottest tourist destinations in the world. When you see its exquisite beaches, magnificent countryside and rugged mountain backdrop, you can understand why.
South Africa is renowned for its excellent medical facilities and well-trained medical specialists. There are many great public schools which have maintained particularly high education standards, with a host of top private schools in every city and town.
Rainbow Nation is the frequent term used to describe cultural diversity, with 11 official languages, although English remains the business language in this multi-lingual ‘Rainbow Nation’, rich in cultural diversity and heritage.
South Africans are known for being amongst the most upbeat, welcoming and humorous folk you can hope to encounter, with a past that tells the story of separation and struggle, South Arica is now filled with unity and possibility growing towards a great future. South Africans are extremely proud of their beautiful country, offering tourists from around the world great holiday experiences and world-class hospitality.
South Africa scores top marks for her diverse offering of beautiful beaches, dramatic mountains and cliff-faces, lush forest belts, intriguing semi-deserts, and unforgettable sunsets over the African veld. She boasts highlights such as the famed Table Mountain with its cloudy tablecloth, and the luscious Garden Route stretching from the Eastern to Western Cape, any traveller to her shores will soon discover that a postcard scene awaits them at every turn. Just like the diverse cultural experience one could expect from this exceptional country, one would most definitely find it hard to choose from country living in the Free State province to cosmopolitan lifestyle in Gauteng and warm bushveld sun in the North West bordering the Kruger National Park.
Overall this country has not only sparked tourism attraction, but its resident’s interest for property investment, extending across shores to international elite Real Estate, yachting and aviation company Engel and Völkers established in Germany, this property specialist professional family hit our shores in 2003 and now have over 40 branches nationally.
The South African property market, particularly the residential market in Southern Africa, is filled with potential and growth. In the Atlantic Seaboard and City Bowl we have seen property values bolstered by positive market growth and contributing market factors. Quality and location are the key differentiators.
In 2008, house prices fell by 0.5% and in 2009, house prices rose 0.3%, the roller-coaster continued in 2010, as house prices increased by 2.3%, this can be attributed to South Africa hosting the 19th FIFA World Cup. In 2011, house prices rose by just 1%, due to lower economic growth, rising inflation ,but that was short lived as in 2012, the housing market bounced back with house prices rising by 9%. In 2013, house prices rose by 3.9% (-1.3% in real terms).In November 2014: the average price of small homes (80-140 sqm) was R 852 000, the average price of medium-sized homes (141-220 sqm) was R 1,191 million the average price of large homes (221-400 sqm) was R 1,814 million.
“In view of the house price growth in the first eleven months of this year, we may well see a growth of around 9% forecast for the full year” shared Craig Hutchison CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa.
South Africa is viewed as a safe investment platform for expansion into the rest of Africa. It was ranked first for auditing and reporting standards, and is ranked number one as the country with regulation of securities exchanges, second for soundness of banks and second for availability of financial services (safe country to invest in, positive attributes of a developing services) by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, South Africa also ranks as the top 15% in terms of property rights in the world (World Economic Forum’s global competitiveness index), Over the last 10-15 years, the South African listed property sector has been the best performing asset class compared to cash, bonds and equities, Kearney’s Global Cities Index ranked the southern African city of Cape Town as one of the top 20 emerging global cities. “I would say that the world praise and the country’s natural beauty are strong motivating contributors for investment in South Africa’s property” stated Craig.
South Africa and Expats
Traditionally expats return to South Africa to exceptional positions due to their exposure and experience in the international business world. This allows them to afford homes in any of the areas where they choose to live. Depending on the business skills honed during their time overseas, they may return to their hometown or to the cities where attractive salaries are paid. There also appears to be a demand among wealthy expat buyers for lifestyle properties in what they perceive to be luxury locations.
As the “City of Gold”, Johannesburg attracts new arrivals to its northern suburbs, the business and night-life hub of South Africa. The advantage is the new Gautrain transport system which alleviates much of the travelling hassles.
Cape Town is a sought-after cosmopolitan area and desired by many. The quality of life in the ‘Mother City’ is incomparable due to its amazing scenery, activities and a permanent holiday atmosphere.
Also popular due to its unsurpassed weather and warm Indian Ocean, is the KZN North Coast, namely Ballito and Umhlanga. With the new Shaka International Airport based between Ballito and Umhlanga, this part of the coast is now a lively area with a burgeoning property market.