Jawitz Properties’ chief executive, Herschel Jawitz, shares his insights on investing in property in the current market.
Is property a ‘good’ or ‘safe’ investment in South Africa, and why?
Property is and continues to be a good investment in South Africa despite the current negative perceptions about the state of the country. The key to investing in property is based on taking a long term view. This means at least five years.
In the current market, with property prices growing by 6-8%, location is the key to a good buying decision. Equally important is ensuring that you buy within your means, so you are not forced to sell quickly should circumstances change – such as interest rates going up more than you anticipated.
Buying less in a better position is going to give you a better capital return than buying more in an area where property prices are not growing or even falling. This has nothing to do with buying in expensive areas but rather buying in areas that are developing.
What appeal does South Africa have to offer foreign buyers on the property front?
From a foreign buying perspective, the major appeal is the current exchange rate and the position of, and type of property you can buy. This is relative to comparable properties in similar locations overseas.
South African property has always been undervalued, relative to countries such as America, the UK and Australia – especially leisure properties along the coast in cities such as Cape Town and on the Garden Route. This together with a great climate and season that work opposite to the Northern Hemisphere, make South Africa the perfect destination for foreign leisure buying. These factors, however, do not make South African properties immune to foreign buying concern about the politics of the country and issues such as foreign ownership of land.