Buying Property in South Africa

The South African property market has boomed for the last five years, and, despite property slowdowns in other parts of the world, looks set to keep up its good steam until the 2010 World Cup.

Foreign ownership of land here is currently a political lightning rod, however – the issue was fodder for some shameful election bluster before the recent local government elections – and regulation has been threatened. Whether this threat will actually materialize is anyone’s guess.

For now at least, anybody can buy property here – and there are plenty of people eager to sell it.



  • For the best look into the local property market during a stay in Cape Town, buy a copy of the Weekend Argus newspaper, which contains no less than three thick property supplements to peruse.
  • The Property Magazine is another good property read, covering the entire country.

As everywhere, South African real estate agents fall into several castes.

  • Pam Golding is the undisputed raj of property sellers in SA. Turn to her and her legions for high-end (R2 million and up) purchases. Specialties include Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard (Camps Bay, Bantry Bay, Llandudno, Fresnaye, etc.) and private country estates such as game reserves, wine farms and homes on golf estates. Pam Golding tends to charge more than other agents – listed prices seem to come in about 2% – 5% higher than other offerings in similar markets.
  • Rawson, Remax and Seeff comprise the brahmins in the SA property game. While not quite as exclusive as Pam Golding, their inventories are just as large.
  • Aida, Homenet, Jawitz, Sotheby’s and Wendy Machanik count among the leading lesser lights in the SA property firmament. They tend to be slightly less expensive than those listed above, but don’t have the range of inventory.

Below them, there are hundreds of assorted bottom feeders (who do quite well for bottom feeders, thank you very much), and it’s best to seek them out via online property search: