Expats snap up ECape properties

Posted On Tuesday, 30 April 2002 10:01 Published by
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Overseas buyers - especially SA expatriates - are snapping up properties in the Eastern Cape, ranging from seaside homes along the province's pristine coastline to farms in the Karoo
Overseas buyers are snapping up properties in East London and elsewhere in the Eastern Cape, from seaside homes along the province's pristine coastline to farms in the Karoo, estate agents say.

The property market in East London is booming, especially since last year's September 11 attacks on the United States, local Pam Golding Properties principal agent Hanlie Bassingthwaighte said yesterday.

There has also been an increase in the sale of properties here to South Africans living abroad.

Bassingthwaighte said East London was favoured by overseas buyers because properties were cheaper compared with bigger cities, the city was relatively crime-free 'and homes here are not under heavy security systems like in other places'.

This, coupled with the attractive rand exchange rate against major world currencies, made the Eastern Cape an ideal spot for property investors.

'There is no doubt South Africa is enjoying far greater interest in property as an investment among international buyers in general,' Bassingthwaighte said.

'In recent months the bulk of our sales has been to expatriates buying smaller homes around the R250,000 mark.

'We have also noticed a growing increase in South African buyers who are moving out of large cities to the quieter coastal areas as part of a lifestyle change,' she said.

International buyers included people from the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States.

Bassingthwaighte said some were investing between R1m and R1.2m in East London homes because they could easily afford to do so.

'This has revitalised the whole property industry and sales over the past year have been extremely buoyant,' she said.

Some buyers were purchasing homes for relatives or family while others were buying them to enjoy holidays in the sunshine.

Eastern Cape game farms are also gaining international recognition because they offer 'malaria free' wild game viewing. The region is also free of traditional wildlife diseases such as tuberculosis and foot-and-mouth.

An increasing number of sheep and cattle farms is being bought up and fences torn down to create large game farms, aimed larely at the overseas market.

Bill Fowlds, Pam Golding Properties' chief farm agent for the Eastern Cape, said he had sold over R66m worth of 'conversion' farms in four years.

Buyers included Scandinavians, Americans and British who were converting the former livestock farms to game that traditionally roamed the region.

Fowlds estimated that total farming here 'is already over 30% for game, and the fences are coming down. There is no going back.'

Daily Dispatch 

Publisher: Daily Dispatch
Source: Daily Dispatch

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