South Africa Property Investment For Sale
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South Africa Property Investment For Sale

 

"A perfect retirement destination but with much publicised crime problems."

 

From forests to swamps, from savannah to snow-covered mountains, from endless beaches to peaceful rivers, South Africa has a multitude of natural wonders to enjoy and can offer the visitor a host of adventures and experiences including vibrant Cape Town, Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, the Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg, the Kruger National Park, Table Mountain, Whale watching and so the list goes on.

Although South Africa has an abundant supply of natural resources and has well developed financial, legal, communications, energy and transport sectors and a modern infrastructure it also suffers from high unemployment, poverty, inequality and crime  - all of which remain a challenge.

However South Africa has much to offer and with house prices much lower than the UK and USA many have chosen here are a perfect second home, holiday or retirement destination and from a legal point of view South Africa is one of the safest countries in which to buy.

Like many nations the housing market suffered during the international recession but has recovered well and rental returns can be excellent, especially in Johannesburg, the financial and economic centre of South Africa.  If you are not interested in rental returns then most foreigners head for Cape Town with its spectacular beaches and wealth of cafes, bars, museums, shops and restaurants.

Country Guide

Geography

South Africa makes up the southern tip of Africa, with the Indian Ocean to its east and the Atlantic to its west. The country borders Botswana, Mozambique, Nambia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe, and completely encloses Lesotho. It is the world's 25th largest country, and has a long coastline of over 2,500 kilometres. South Africa has three geographical zones; plateau, mountains and a relatively narrow coastal belt. The high plateau  has sharp escarpments, and most of it lacks water. The mountains run along the coast from the Cape of Good Hope to the Limpopo Valley in the northeast.

Although the country's climate is classified as semi-arid, it varies hugely in climate as well as topography; from extreme desert of the southern Namib in the northwest of the country, to the lush subtropical climate in the west. There is also a Mediterranean-like climate in the southwest. South Africa also has one possession, the small sub-Antarctic archipelago of the Prince Edward Islands, comprised of Marion Island and Prince Edward Island.

Government

South Africa is a republic government, run by a President who is both chief of state and head of government. South Africa celebrates independence on three different days, with Freedom Day being the national holiday on the 27th April. The South African legal system is based on Roman-Dutch law and English common law, inherited from the days of the country's previous colonizers.

Language

IsiZulu 23.8%, IsiXhosa 17.6%, Afrikaans 13.3%, Sepedi 9.4%, English 8.2%, Setswana 8.2%, Sesotho 7.9%, Xitsonga 4.4%, other 7.2%

Standard of Living

There is a huge disparity between the cost and standard of living in the wealthier regions compared to the poverty-stricken regions. Whilst the former could be classed as of Developed World standard, the latter is most definitely still deemed Developing. In the city areas popular with expatriates the cost of living is not dissimilar to the main cities of the US, the UK, Australia and parts of Europe. Food and wine tend to be cheaper than in Western countries but 'luxury' items can be expensive. The healthcare infrastructure can be varied in terms of quality; in some areas it is very good, but all too often healthcare institutions are overcrowded in areas populated by non-white groups. South Africa enjoys a healthy lifestyle with much outdoor living.

Country Economy

Economically, South Africa is considered to be an emerging market with an abundant supply of natural resources. The financial, legal, communications, energy and transport sectors are well-developed, and the country has a modern infrastructure. However, growth has not been strong enough to substantially lower South Africa's high unemployment rate and the economic problems from the apartheid era remain serious, especially regarding poverty and a lack of economic empowerment among disadvantaged groups. 

Key industries

Tourism, gold, diamonds, platinum, other metals, minerals and machinery.

 

Hotspots

Cape Town

The most popular area for overseas buyers is the Cape Peninsula, one of the most desirable places in the world. White sandy beaches, proximity to the Garden Route and Cape Town's cosmopolitan urban centre have all combined to raise the profile of the property market. Cape Town has been heralded as the 'Saint Tropez of Africa', and the dynamic city is home to a wealth of cafes, bars, museums, shops and restaurants. With a highly desirable location and easy access from the UK, it receives millions of foreign tourists a year. 

Western Cape

Most properties bought overseas investors are in the Western Cape, which stretches from St Helena Bay in the west to Durban in the east. The Garden Route, the coastline of the Western Cape, has long been a popular holiday spot for South Africans from inland areas as well as foreign investors. 

Over the Christmas holidays, Plettenburg Bay is transformed from a sleepy coastal town to a bustling holiday resort. There is much that appeals here, and Knysna's arty lagoon community and Plettenburg Bay's beaches have begun to attract outside interest, pushing prices up and creating good rental potential.

Durban

Durban is a recent addition to South Africa's investment scene. The south coast around Durban has long been popular with locals who have been visiting the area's seaside resort towns for years. There are stunning beaches and a number of golf resorts, another factor which makes the area a popular one. 

Gauteng

Gauteng is the main commercial hub of the country. Demand for property from the local market is therefore strong, and as prices here are lower than in Cape Town, this is tipped as a good investment area. Pretoria is also reputed to represent a good investment opportunity where owners are seeing the best increases in rental returns. 

Kwa-Zulu Natal

When it comes to favoured locations, the above areas are the ones attracting most overseas investors. However, increasing interest is also being seen in Kwa-Zulu Natal.


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