Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  24 Aug 2010

PROPERTY: Major Interest in SA Property Post World Cup


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That overseas visitors who came to South Africa for the Soccer World Cup would fall in love with the country was never really in doubt. But seeing firsthand the huge global interest that this event created in South Africa was immediately brought home to the Pam Golding Property group – on the Monday directly after the Soccer World Cup Final their statistics reveal a massive spike in visitors to the company’s website.

“While our website visitors are usually highest on a Monday – with many researching the property market on the internet after viewing properties over the weekend, we were delighted to see a huge spike in visits, up from an average of around 8000 on most Mondays to an unprecedented 37 697 visits on Monday 12 July (2010),” says Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group.

Cheridan Inglis, PGP’s group New Media manager attributes the major increase in website visitors to focused online advertising on various international websites. She says the previous highest number of visits on a Monday was 9000 on 31 May, just prior to the start of the World Cup Soccer. For the month of July (2010), during the World Cup Soccer, PGP received a total of 277 000 visits to their website – up from approximately 200 000 in June, and this figure has remained consistently high ever since.

Says Inglis: “The number of unique visitors is also up to 180 000 per month in July from a previous high of 110 000, while the number of new visitors, ie those visiting the PGP website for the first time, has also increased significantly from 39 percent of total unique visitors to 52 percent.”
Dr Golding adds that what is interesting, although perhaps not surprising, is the major increase in interest in South African property among those from the Netherlands. “In July we saw a massive 3600 percent increase in these with a total of 55 000 visits from Dutch buyers. It was clearly evident from media reports that those visiting South Africa during the soccer event had the time of their lives, and we saw only positive feedback from Dutch visitors. With their historic links to South Africa, many with friends or family living here, it was perhaps to be expected, but the huge enthusiasm with which they embraced our country was extremely gratifying,” he says.

“Coupled with this, while previously we have dealt with enquiries and visits from approximately 170 countries around the globe, following the World Cup this figure has increased to over 190 countries, demonstrating the major worldwide increase in interest in South Africa and its property market mainly as a direct result of the tournament,” adds Dr Golding.” After Holland, the greatest interest we have seen via our website has been from the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Belgium, Australia, France, Mauritius, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates.”

Dr Golding says generally those from the Netherlands are drawn by the spaciousness of properties in South Africa, and the fact that they can acquire a very attractive, quality home from around R2.5-R5 million. “Areas such as Paarl, Wellington and Riebeek Kasteel in the Boland region of the Western Cape are particularly popular. There are also many Afrikaans speaking people in this region which makes communication easy and they are drawn to the scenic and historic appeal of the area. Some relocate permanently – many after visiting South Africa regularly on holiday - while others like to spend the cold European winters in South Africa. The kind of properties they purchase includes character and Victorian homes – which the Belgians also prefer, as well as smallholdings and guesthouses which generate some income.”

In Sedgefield PGP area principal Walter Bakker says Dutch and German buyers find this tranquil area of the Garden Route very appealing. “Those from Holland tend to seek homes in the R3-R4 million price range with scenic and ocean views. They may come out here for about four months of the year – and these include younger buyers who want to buy their dream home for the European winters. The Dutch enjoy walking and a spacious home about 2-3km from the shops and - with great views - would be considered ideal,” he says.

In Knysna, PGP report that Dutch purchasers seek mainly marina properties, again with lots of space and priced mostly from R2.5-R3 million – either for holiday use or to relocate to South Africa. In Umhlanga, while PGP reported overseas interest during the World Cup mainly from German buyers, directly after the event they sold a prime located beachfront apartment in Umhlanga for R8.2 million to a buyer from Eastern Europe.

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