On 5 February 2013, at the official launch of the new Pam Golding Properties' (PGP) operation in Namibia in Windhoek and the opening of a second PGP office in Swakopmund, Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of PGP, stated that Namibia is experiencing increasing interest from South African buyers.
Prominent local government and business leaders, including those involved in the property industry in Namibia, attended the event. PGP Namibia provides a broad range of specialised and advisory services, which include residential sales, letting and property management and property developments.
"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.
Namibia 'familiar' ground
"The appeal of the this property market is further aided by the fact that Namibia is part of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and SADC, which plays a significant role in facilitating trade between the countries. All indications are that this trend is likely to continue for the near future. 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 also for increased cross-border trade in the Namibian and South African housing markets.
"We have every confidence that our Namibian operation will continue to increase market share as it imprints the PGP brand during 2013 in the central region of the country. A third office is already planned for Walvis Bay. Although a relatively small market, house price growth and activity levels in Namibia in general have been impressive. According to the latest House Price Index from FNB, in 2012 the average house price increase was 22%. Nationally, the average price for a small house was N$ 250 000, a medium sized house N$ 560 000 and a large house N$ 950 000. However, in the larger centres, such as the capital city of Windhoek, prices are higher. We find that most activity 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," said Dr Golding.
In addition to this, the new office is receiving enquiries from buyers in neighbouring Angola, particularly for Windhoek leisure, residential and commercial properties. Commented Leon Jooste, joint shareholder of PGP Namibia, "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. Currently, enquiries for residential property in Namibia are 10% from South Africans, 20% from Angolans and the remainder from local buyers.
"From a business perspective, Namibia is also 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. Attractive investment opportunities are available in new developments in Windhoek and the immediate surrounds.
"Some of the most exciting opportunities are in new residential developments, where demand continues to outstrip supply significantly. New units priced between N$1.2 million and N$2.5 million offer the potential for sound capital growth and return on investment. In addition, there is also a strong demand for livestock and game farms all over the country, with prices having increased considerably due to high demand and the flourishing agriculture and tourism sectors," said Jooste.
Paul Kruger, who is also a shareholder of PGP Namibia, adds, "The trend towards the development of lifestyle estates is set to continue with a number of new estates in various stages of planning. One of these is the strategically located "Eros Valley Golf Estate" which is being conceptualised and is expected to become a successful excellent estate right in the middle of a Windhoek suburb.
"The company is currently marketing Omeya Golf and Residential Oasis, Namibia's first residential golf estate situated 25 km south of Windhoek. It offers a combination of different sized erven, sectional title units, a retirement component and a few commercial opportunities as part of the 'village' development.
"While most development in Namibia occurs in the major centres of Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, 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 in Namibia's hospitality sector, many new attractive locations have been unlocked for tourism development. "There are many untapped opportunities for new products, along with current products available in a number of locations. Swakopmund remains one of the most popular tourist destinations and various B&B establishments are available in the market." The company also has an attractive portfolio of lodges on the market in various parts of the country and an exclusive, upmarket boutique hotel in Windhoek."
"The group will continue to look further afield to find real estate partners in East and West Africa, including possibilities in Tanzania and Angola, as we remain bullish and optimistic about the Africa region and specifically our opportunity to be the preferred property services company of choice throughout the continent over the medium-term," concludes Dr Golding.
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