7 February 2013

Angola, South Africa Househunting in Namibia

THE domestic property market, especially in Windhoek and Swakopmund, is increasingly drawing buyers from outside Namibia, Pam Golding Properties (PGP) Namibia has said. About 30% of potential home buyers contacting PGP Namibia are from beyond the country's borders - 10% from South Africa and 20% from Angola, company shareholder Leon Jooste said.

"Namibia has become an attractive shopping and holiday destination for Angolans and the ongoing development of new transport infrastructure in Angola, together with a vibrant trade regime between these two countries, augurs well for this trend to continue and grow," Jooste said at the official launch of PGP Namibia on Tuesday.

Speaking at the same occasion, PGP Group chief executive Andrew Golding said: "Due to its proximity, Namibia remains an attractive option for South Africans, including real estate investors looking to diversify their investment portfolios. Many of the South African enquiries are for Swakopmund as the town is a sought after recreational centre.

"With similar banking and property laws, Namibia is a 'familiar' environment for South African investors - residential property can be purchased and sold without restrictions and offers sound returns," Golding said.

Swakopmund's popularity is evident from the price of property in the town. The latest FNB House Price Index showed that the median house price in the seaside resort is N$660 000, the third highest median price in Namibia after Henties Bay with N$782 500 and Windhoek with N$720 000.

"Although a relatively small market, house price growth and activity levels in Namibia in general have been impressive," Golding said.

FNB data shows that the median house price in Windhoek increased by 92% over the past five years, while that of Swakopmund rose by 38%. Overall in Namibia, the median house price has climbed by 50% since 2007 - and by 22% in 2012 alone.

PGP Namibia finds that most activity in Windhoek and other large centres is between N$1,5 million and N$3,5 million for houses, and between N$900 000 and N$2,5 million for new sectional title units, Golding said. He said the appeal of the domestic market is further aided by the fact that Namibia is part of the Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which plays a significant role in facilitating trade between the countries.

"All indications are that this trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future," Golding said.

"Further positive news is that the Namibian economy is showing resilience in the face of the global economic challenges and we see the potential not only for growth but increased cross-border trade in regard to the Namibian and South African housing markets," he added.

Jooste said from a business perspective, Namibia also offers an excellent entry point from where investors can launch businesses into the rest of Africa. "Windhoek makes a strong case for corporate headquarters with excellent support structures, good logistics and an appealing quality of life," he said.

PGP Namibia shareholder Paul Kruger said while most residential development in Namibia occurs in the major centres of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvisbay, it is anticipated that a number of smaller towns will benefit by the emergence of new mines.

"Towns like Arandis in the Erongo region and Otavi in the Otjozondjupa region will receive an influx of new residents once the mines become a reality, which will create interesting opportunities for developers and investors," Kruger said.

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