Expert help is at hand for wealthy South Africans who have no plans to emigrate but do wish to diversify their investment portfolios by purchasing residential real estate overseas, according to Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.
“Through our affiliation to the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
(LeadingRE) network and its Luxury Portfolio International®
programme, we are now able to offer these individuals direct access to the very best properties for sale in more than 50 countries, and to an international relocation centre that will assist them to make their purchases trouble-free,” he says.
“The fact is that while the steep decline in the value of the rand since 2011 has made South African luxury property an attractive proposition for expats and foreign investors purchasing with dollars, euros or pounds, it has also slashed the value of many local fortunes – and not surprisingly prompted an increasing number of SA’s high net worth individuals (HNWIs) to seek alternative investment avenues offshore.
“And in common with many HNWIs from other developing countries, they often favour residential real estate over less-stable equities, commodities or collectables such as art or luxury cars. Property is not, however, always the easiest purchase to make, and that is where the global network of LeadingRE brokerages comes in.”
Via the LeadingRE relocation centres, Chas Everitt International
can source information from any of the other 500 premier property brokerages that are members or the network, and obtain their help to source and facilitate appropriate real estate investments for its South African clients, says Everitt. “So if we have a client in Johannesburg who wants to invest in London, for example, or Berlin, or perhaps in Miami, the relevant relocation centre will not only co-ordinate the efforts to find suitable properties in line with that client’s budget and specifications, but also assist him or her to navigate the local legislation and regulations surrounding real estate purchases and ownership.
“These are different in almost every country, and being able to provide immediate access to a local expert who can fully explain what is required and how to avoid potentially costly mistakes is a considerable value-add for our HNWI clients.” As for those who do wish to emigrate, he says, membership of the LeadingRE network means Chas Everitt International is now able to offer them a much smoother relocation process. “It has been estimated that about a million highly skilled people have left SA in the past 10 years, and FNB recently reported that the percentage of home sales being made in anticipation of emigration has doubled in the past two years to 5% of the total.
“However, it is not always easy for emigrants to find the right home in their new country or city, especially if they don’t really know much about the local property market, or where the best school districts are, or the best ways to get to work or the shops. Through LeadingRE, however, we can now put our clients from SA in touch with the top real estate firms in dozens of cities across 54 countries, and ensure that they get personalised service and help to get settled much more quickly.”