Dr Andrew Golding, CE of the Pam Golding Property group comments: “While the news of Britain leaving the European Union came as somewhat of a surprise the ramifications for the South African economy and in particular the property market, are not immediately clear”.
“It’s going to be such a difficult one to call as it is going to take time for the full implications to be assessed. What does seem clear is that the process of Britain’s exit will take at least two years with many twists and turns along the way and with specific negotiations within the EU on many varied and important issues still to be decided”.
“Some points of debate include whether Britain’s exit from the EU will result in short or medium term pound weakness and in the process make London property potentially less expensive and as a consequence, represent a buying opportunity for South Africans and other investors. On the flip side the attraction of South African property to British and European investors is likely to remain unchanged although a weaker pound will make it slightly more expensive for UK investors – however, at this stage this appears to be marginal”.
“What Brexit does, however, seem to have created in the short term is some instability and uncertainty in financial markets, which could have some macro-economic effects and lead to a further rand weakness given that the inevitable flight to safe havens seldom includes us”.
“However, overarching all of this is the indisputable fact that with uncertainty comes opportunity and savvy investors will see this opportunity and capitalise on it. In particular, South African residential property remains undervalued when compared with international locations such as London or Paris specifically, when comparing like with like, and so this continues to represent a favourable buying environment notwithstanding the uncertainty around Brexit.”