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Curbs on owning land could see jittery locals selling

Author: Lynley Donnelly

Unease about the government’s plans for restricting land ownership could see local residential property owner-investors who rely on foreign buyers choosing to leave the market for fear of further restrictions, a researcher warns.

Negative consequences may unfold in two ways, Paul-Roux de Kock, analytics director at Lightstone Property, said. “The first is the amplified nervousness of foreign owners, prompting them to sell,” he said. “But because the proportion of foreign ownership of land in South Africa is so low already, our view is that this in itself will not have an impactful effect on residential property prices.”

By Lightstone’s estimate, only about 3% of local property is owned by foreigners.

The secondary effect could see South African owner-investors – who rely on the country’s popularity as an international tourist destination – opting to sell their properties while they still have a large pool of buyers in anticipation of further restrictions, said De Kock.

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