More South Africans are buying property offshore – here are the most popular spots

Pam Golding International says that increased demand for international property by South African buyers is being fuelled by a desire to diversify investment portfolios with a rand hedge.

The need to diversify, coupled with demand for offshore citizenship, has seen increased uptake by buyers investing in residential property in Portugal via the Golden Visa Programme as well as a surge in interest in the US EB-5 Programme for access to a Green Card and the Grenada Citizenship-by-investment programme, it said.

Notwithstanding this, property in Mauritius and the UK remain firm favourites with SA investors, Pam Golding said.

“It’s not surprising that Lisbon features strongly on the radar of such investors, as according to the Emerging Trends in Europe 2019 report, it is currently the top-rated city in Europe for overall investment and development prospects in 2019, having leapfrogged 10 places to number one, the estate agency group said.

“In Portugal buyers invest mainly for EU Residency, while in Mauritius – which has retained its pole position as first on the African continent in The World Bank ‘Doing Business 2020 report, it’s a combination of residency and leisure or second home acquisitions.”

In the UK it is purely for investment in hard currency, a hedge against political instability and diversification, Pam Golding said.

In Portugal, the €350,000 Golden Visa developments in Lisbon, Porto and Cascais remain the most popular, the group said.

It said that since May 2019, Mauritius has experienced a noticeable ramp-up in property purchases that offer South Africans permanent residency, as well as those buying for pure investment.

“The Mauritian economy and currency continue to perform very well in the global arena with a buoyant real estate market driven by those relocating for work opportunities as well as holiday and retirement,” Pam Golding said.

“Mauritius remains an attractive destination for South Africans due to proximity and the easy ability for expats to oversee their business interests and investments in SA.”

Mont Choisy Le Parc Golf and Beach Estate continue to attract attention from high net worth individuals looking for an exclusive lifestyle in Grand Baie, with Phase 1 and 2 completed and numerous resales concluded, Pam Golding pointed out.

It said that Phase 3 – called Mont Choisy La Reserve – has just been launched with 30 apartments and 25 villas. Ki Resort Apartments with Phase 1 comprising 70 units in Grand Baie close to sold out has attracted buyers looking for a pure investment purchase as well as those looking to spend US$500,000 to gain permanent residency plus access to the developer’s private beach club facility.

On Eden Island in the Seychelles, over 500 or 95% of homes are already completed and 550 sold in this vibrant, cosmopolitan community. Underscoring the investment returns is the fact that 25% of homeowners own more than one home on Eden Island. Prices of units currently start at US$455,000 and all owners qualify to apply for Seychelles Residency, Pam Golding said.


On the African continent, a standout country is Kenya, “which is experiencing a generally positive outlook for its economy and housing market, particularly rentals, and with a large number of investment type buyers,” Pam Golding said.

“In Mozambique, we are currently marketing three- and four-bedroom beach villas in the exclusive San Martinho Beach Club Resort in Bilene in the north of Maputo, with a protected natural lagoon surrounded by pearly white sandy beaches and set on 43ha of lush, tropical gardens and 1.3km of pristine private beaches. Prices are from MZN 16 million,” it said.

“This kind of project appeals to locals and international buyers including South Africans who want to own a property and experience regular holidays in Mozambique. For an additional about MZN 1.8 million for furniture, properties can be included in the rental pool.”

In Zambia, where residential property development is a relatively new concept, an increase in road infrastructure in Lusaka and the Copperbelt has seen a number of emerging residential areas becoming sought after areas for home owners. Other key hubs are Roma, Kabulong and Ibex Hill, which are well established residential areas in close proximity to amenities such as schools and shopping centres, Pam Golding said.

It said that the main residential trends in Zambia are for cluster developments, very similar to those in South Africa. “Currently we are involved in leasing out office space in the new Standard Chartered Head Office development an 8,000sqm office block, of which they will occupy 6,000sqm. Office space from 250-1 000sqm is let at US$30 per square metre.”

Read: More South Africans are looking at Mauritius as a ‘Plan B’ instead of Australia, New Zealand and the UK

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More South Africans are buying property offshore – here are the most popular spots