The 1990’s saw dramatic changes in the socio-political life of South Africa with the inauguration of President Mandela.

Property prices reflected the huge upheaval in society during this time. The result was that South Africa experienced a flat line between 1990 and 1998. There was no recorded growth during this time. As a result of stagnation property prices became artificially low by South African standards. By global standards the price of housing in South Africa was already well below the norm if we used currency conversion as a measure.

Subsequently interest rates started moving down dramatically from 1998 which saw the property market enter a correction phase. By 2003 the market had fully corrected to about 120% increase in prices. By 2004 the market had increased by a total of 140% and is still rising.

For the non-resident South African property investment must be the biggest bargain on offer, especially if the property is a holiday home. There still exists a 6/1 discount in terms of global housing prices.

For instance a prime, luxurious property in Cape Town that would sell for ZAR R5 000 000 actually costs the investor buyer +/- US $700 000. The kind of property one could acquire would rate favourably with a US $5 000 000 house in Beverly Hills, California. In basic terms the non-resident would be getting 6 times the value for the US dollar.


The Lions Head International Properties is actively engaged with foreign purchasing of property in South Africa.

We have also set up a concierge desk to help non-residents in their quest for South African property.

Buying property in a foreign country can sometimes be a daunting process. The Lions Head International Properties have years of experience in assisting foreign clients with each and every step. We focus on helping our foreign client's dream of owning an African luxury home become an easy and pleasant reality.



The South African Government has agreed that non-residents who wish to purchase South Africa properties could be afforded the following financial arrangements (subject to Reserve Bank approval); There is no limit on the purchase price. Mortgage bond finance is based on a 50/50 structure i.e. for every Rand in foreign currency brought into the country, an equal amount of borrowings will be allowed through a lending institution.

If a non-resident has more then 20% equity in a South African owned company or Close Corporation, it will allow that person to borrow 100% of the purchase price through a lending institution.

In the event of the non-resident wishing to liquidate the asset, the Government will allow the funds to be repatriated back to the source with no penalty.

Any income derived from South African property assets owned by a foreigner is allowed to be transferred back to the source without penalty (against provision of a Rental Agreement).
Foreign Nationals who are living and working in South Africa with a South African work permit can qualify for 50% to 90% mortgage loans depending on the length of time they have been resident in South Africa. New arrivals with work permits and working in South Africa can qualify for a 50% mortgage loan.



  1. You do not need to emigrate. As a foreign buyer it is possible to obtain Mortgage finance of 50% of purchase price. If you own an off-shore Company up to 80% is possible.

  2. From the signing of an ‘offer to purchase’ contract (acceptable to the seller), the conveyance process to registration of the transfer of the property in your name (or cc; company ; trust) at the deeds office, usually takes three months. Occupation dates can be earlier by agreement (on contract) with the seller, provided your guarantees are provided before occupation date. A deposit of at least 10% is payable on signing and acceptance of ‘offer to purchase’ contract. The balance payable is usually guaranteed within 30 days.

  3. Capital Gains tax is applicable when selling the property in certain circumstances.

  4. Taxes on rent are applicable and must comply with your tax-base country.

  5. Financing with foreign capital is possible but it is necessary to arrange this with the seller.

  6. Transfer tax, registration costs and legal fees are payable by the purchaser. Usually +/- 8% of purchase price.

  7. Visa regulations are not within our scope of advice.

  8. There is no fee for our assistance.


Let us know the size and price range of property you require and we will do our best to meet your requirements.

The Lions Head International Properties operated by Norbert Bernitzke.


Additional Information:

Important Facts about Property (158 Kb - Adobe .pdf)

South African Immigration Law (140 Kb – Adobe .pdf)


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For further information please call:



TEL.  0027 21 712 17 25

MOBIL 0027 72 194 04 93





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