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South African Property prices vs the UK , USA, New Zealand & Australia

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South African Property prices vs the UK , USA, New Zealand & Australia

South African property offers at present excellent value for money.

There is, according to various reports, an increase in the number of expats who have decided to return to live in South Africa. It appears that the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side and those who are returning have cited a number of reasons behind their decision. However, it seems that family ties, the weather and the simple fact that this is 'home' are the main reasons that so many expats are returning.

Quite frankly those who are returning now couldn't have picked a better time. The rand recently fell to a 14-year low against both the pound and the dollar –effectively discounting home prices in South Africa by between 35% and 50% since 2011 when the dollar was worth around R7, compared to almost R13 currently, while the pound was worth around R12,50, compared to R20 currently. What this means in bricks-and-mortar terms is that a R10m luxury property in South Africa that would have cost a foreign investor US$1,43m five years ago, will now only cost US$769 000 – or around 46% less.

At the time of writing the rand was trading at R21.36 to the Pound and R13.88 to the US Dollar. This obviously means that those investing in property will get far more than they originally bargained, given the rapid onset of the decline in our currency.

The average price of a property in London is currently sitting around the £500 000 mark. In Rand this translates to around R10-million. Things do become a little more affordable if you buy a property outside of the UK's capital and the latest stats indicate that the average price paid for a home in the rest of the UK is £274 000 (roughly R5.8-million).

Spending £500 000 may not seem that big a deal to those in the money, however, it's worth remembering that this figure is the amount buyers could expect to pay for a studio apartment or a two bedroom maisonette that in this instance features a lounge measuring 4.11m by 5.11m and a master bedroom measuring 2.64m by 2.49m.

Things don't appear to be any easier for buyers hoping to invest in a property in New York. In January this year it was estimated that the average price of an apartment in Manhattan was around $916 000 (around R12.5-million).

The picture doesn't look much better in Sydney in Australia or Auckland in New Zealand where the average price of property is approximately AU$760 000 (R7.3-million) and NZ$670 000 (approximately R5.8-million) respectively. A quick Internet search reveals that a one bedroom apartment measuring a paltry 61m2 in Sydney is currently on the market for AU$745 000.

So what will R10-million or even less buy you in South Africa?

In the Western Cape and more specifically Cape Town’s highest priced suburbs a 3 bedroom property in Camps Bay with unobstructed views of both the mountains and sea is on the market for R9.995-million. In Umhlanga, Durban there is a magnificent 470 m2 four bedroom property selling for R9.980-million and for those looking to settle in Gauteng there's a property measuring 600 m2 which features five bedrooms and four bathrooms selling for R9.850-million in Bryanston. On the Cape’s West Coast in Langebaan, a 6 bedroom house in Long Acres Estate of 880 m2. on 20 044m2 land is selling for R6.6 million & a 650 m2 house (erf 955m2) on the Langebaan Country Estate (a golf estate) is available for R6.899 million. Luxury Property in the Helderberg area also provide much better value for money than the much more expensive Cape Atlantic Seaboard side – a 700 m2 5 bedroom house in Boskloof Eco Estate in Somerset West is selling for R11,95 million whilst a 5 bedroom house in Heldervue of 600 m2 on a 14000 m2 plot is selling for R8.5 million. In Greenways Golf Estate in the Strand, a beachfront 5 bedroom house of 470 m2 is available for R7,2 million. True comparative luxury home value is available in the Cape Town’s only polo estate, Val de Vie, where a 4 bedroom house of 361 m2 is available for R4,85 million.

Although those of us living here and earning Rands may not believe it, South African property really does offer excellent value for money. For starters our homes tend to be bigger than the average home in any of the world's cosmopolitan cities. They are also situated on bigger stands and high-end homes generally feature sophisticated security systems and amenities such as swimming pools. We also have perfect weather. Do not get us wrong, we love the lifestyle of London, New York and Paris, but living through a winter in any of those locations can be a bit of a drag and while very few would leave a country because the weather is bad, it is surprising how depressing this seemingly inconsequential factor can be and how good it feels to come back to a country where the sun shines for most of the year.

Source Lea Jacobs / Private Property

Author Lea Jacobs - Private Property
Published 14 Sep 2015 / Views -
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