“Brics countries could play a significant future role in raising the level of foreign interest in South African residential property,” says Christie’s-affiliated luxury homes marketer Ronald Ennik.
“The recent increased flow of visitors to South Africa from fellow Brics member countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) has already cranked up the awareness within that bloc of the investment opportunities on offer in our residential property market,” adds the founder and CEO of Ennik Estates.
“That awareness will intensify next week when Durban hosts the fifth Brics Summit, which is expected to be attended by around 5 000 delegates – including specially-invited heads of the AU and of sub-Saharan regional organisations.
“Given that delegates to high-level international indabas in South Africa seldom travel alone, and that Johannesburg (via O R Tambo Airport) is almost always the arrival and departure point of choice, the Brics Summit could indirectly widen the showcase on the top end homes market in Gauteng,” says Ennik.
Meanwhile, he believes the steadily increasing volume of day-to-day Brics country tourist arrivals in South Africa could have the same effect.
“At the latest count, there has been a 62,8% year-on-year increase in the number of Chinese nationals visiting South Africa. This is not surprising, given that South Africa is China’s largest trading partner in Africa,” says Ennik.
The comparative year-on-year increases in visitors from other Brics countries are: Brazil 51,7%; Russia 34,6% and India 18%.
“Inevitably, many of these arrivals come here on holiday, or to attend international conventions, trade and sports events – a trend which has been growing steadily ever since South Africa hosted the 2010 Soccer World Cup and established the country as Africa’s event capital.
“From a potential property investment point of view, the most significant Brics travellers are the executives who use Johannesburg, and Sandton in particular, as a base from which to visit and oversee corporate investment projects both in South Africa and sub-Saharan countries,” says Ennik.
“They are starting to emerge as buyers and renters of upper end real estate – which is potentially good for the market,” he concludes.
Ennik Estates was established in August 2011 as a boutique marketer of luxury residential property. The company is the exclusive affiliate in Gauteng of Christie’s International Real Estate, the US$100-billion sales a year global luxury property arm of the world’s largest and oldest fine art auction house.