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Monday Dec 24, 2012

Africa's wealthy get a foothold in Atlantic seaboard property

Buyers from other African countries have emerged as a strong new market buying properties on Cape Town's Atlantic seaboard, boosting sales during the current tough financial market.

Properties in Clifton and on the Atlantic seaboard are prime purchases for well-off South African and international buyers.

And estate agents are confident that the summer holiday season could boost sales further.

Dogon Properties said this week that in October and November alone, it had closed sales worth R200 million on the Atlantic seaboard, including selling a R65m, five-bedroom Bantry Bay home, and one in Clifton for R20m.

Denise Dogon, principal agent for the group, said Clifton was the most sought after suburb in the area.

"International buyers instantly recognise the brand associated with Clifton, and are willing to pay the associated top-end prices to secure property in this niche area."

While a large number of the buyers were from Johannesburg, looking for holiday and investment properties, Dogon said African buyers from countries like Senegal, Gabon, Angola and Nigeria were also emerging.

Dogon also expects sales on the Atlantic seaboard to continue into next year, as holidaymakers in Cape Town view and buy properties there. Many of these deals would, however, only be closed next month.

Last month, Pam Golding Properties chief executive Andrew Golding said in his year- end wrap that despite tough economic times, coastal properties, particularly on the Atlantic seaboard and on KwaZulu-Natal's North Coast, had sold well.

"Pam Golding Properties continues to achieve success in the high- end, luxury homes market, with top prices recently achieved including a number of homes in the R20m to R35m price range on (the) Atlantic seaboard and southern suburbs, and in Johannesburg's northern suburbs," he said.

Golding added that the company had seen rising interest from other African countries, although demand from the rest of the international community had slowed.

"As examples, on the Atlantic seaboard we recently sold two homes, each for R30m, to European buyers. However, in the main, overseas buyers tend to purchase homes mainly in the price range from R1.5m to R6m."

Zimbabwe and Uganda featured in the top 10 countries of international buyers the group was seeing, alongside the UK, Germany and the United Arab Emirates.

He said the Atlantic seaboard had its best month ever in August this year, with Pam Golding agents writing sales of more than R170m, R145m of which was already confirmed.

Ian Slot, managing director of Seeff Properties Atlantic Seaboard, said that up to October this year, his company had sold about 86 properties, worth a combined R550m, to foreign buyers. British and European buyers represented 67.39 percent (62 properties) of the total foreign sales.

He added that the number of buyers from African countries was growing steadily, and now represented 18.48 percent of all foreign sales.

"The largest portion though, is still Namibian buyers at 7.61 percent (seven property sales) of all sales, followed by Tanzanian buyers at 3.26 percent ( three property sales). Other African buyers include people from Kenya, Congo, Nigeria and Senegal."

Slot said about 70 percent of all foreign sales were on the Atlantic seaboard. These included 27, mostly flats, priced between R2.4m and R2.6m, in Sea Point and Green Point; 14 properties priced about R8.8m in Camps Bay; and five properties averaging R14.1m in Bantry Bay.

Meanwhile, South Africa's most expensive property ever, the R300m Enigma mansion, still remains on the market. The more than 7 000m Camps Bay property is being marketed by three different estate agencies.

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition)

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