Reverse emigration trend in South Africa a big boost for the Cape

 ·9 Feb 2024

South African emigrants are increasingly coming back to South Africa, snatching up property in the Cape.

“Over and above the wave of semigration to the Cape and the growing interest of high-net-worth foreign investors, we’ve seen a notable increase in enquiries from expats”, said Stephan Thomas and David Burger from Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty.

“Many of these buyers left South Africa in their teens or in their early twenties, are now in their thirties and forties with families of their own and keen to return for a number of reasons, including lifestyle and the advantageous exchange rates that enable them to leverage their foreign-earned currency.”

“Others are retirees looking to escape the harsh European winters to enjoy their golden years in a temperate climate where they can pursue outdoor leisure activities and their hard currency pensions will stretch that much further.”

A major contributor to the return of expats is the advantageous exchange rates, with the dollar, pound and euro strengthening heavily against the rand.

Lifestyle is also a key factor, with Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs seen as especially appealing as the city’s best schools are found in the area. Expats are also lured back to the country’s vibrant cultural scene and culinary diversity

“The other reality is that people living in the UK and Europe are becoming more miserable every day with wars on their doorstep, uncontrolled immigration and cost of living increases and, at the end of the day, we all aspire to a better lifestyle and will seek it out,” said Burger and Thomas.

Buyers also have a wide choice of property options, especially in the secure estate sector.

“Estate properties are very popular with these buyers and estates in this area offer everything they need, including controlled access, first-class lifestyle amenities and a sense of community as well as property options to suit most budgets, although we find that our expat clients generally purchase within two price bands: R9 million to R18 million and R25 million plus.”

Below are properties in these price bands in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town:


  • 6 Bedroom House in Constantia, Cape Town
  • Price: R29,800,000

  • 5 Bedroom House in Newlands, Cape Town
  • Price: R9,800,000

Read: Where petrol prices are headed in 2024

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