Buying property has always been seen as one of the most stable and reliable investments one can make. Has this changed after the recession or does it still carry weight?
“The answer to this is yes. Due to current lower markets, investing in property is one of the most profitable investments you can make", says CEO of Engel & Völkers Southern Africa Craig Hutchison.
The proof of this can be seen through a number of international players such as International housing solutions that have invested in the residential South African market specifically in the rental market. Low interest rates combined with low home prices equal the prefect investment. These two factors open the door for first time investors, but like any investment you should first bear in mind a few factors when buying as an investment.
Firstly ensure you understand the specific area that are considering investing in. The easiest way to find out is by doing research on the area. Something you should consider is what infrastructure development is taking place in the area. Areas with good infrastructure will be more profitable as good amenities attract rentals. Look out for the offering of schools, security, retail shops, public transport and very importantly the traffic congestion in the area.
Another consideration is to partner with someone who has property investment experience. This is especially for first-time investors. An experienced partner will assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome for your investment.
Also the old saying in real estate, location, location, location, applies here. If you do buy a property with the intent of renting it out, location is the key. Homes in areas where rentals are high or highly populated areas are ideal. Also look for homes with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms situated in secure neighbourhoods. Consider potential selling points for the property you wish to invest in. You want your investment to be as profitable as possible and buying in an area where you can make a good return in a few years is the ultimate investment.
Ensure you have sufficient capital. Before investing speak to a financial planner about whether you have enough assets to handle the ups and downs which come when you invest. If you intend to rent out the property, make sure you have the capital to pay the mortgage if the property is vacant.
Second home markets in South Africa have recently shown a slight increase. This is a good opportunity for you to invest in areas that are predominantly a second home area. Coastal areas have shown to be gainful as a second home investment. But also bear in mind that when you reside inland and you invest in a coastal home you should ensure that you have someone who can attend to the regular maintenance of that home.
Whatever you do, understand that investing in property is entirely different to buying a primary residence. When buying your primary home you have emotions that go along with the purchase. Should you invest take those emotions into consideration. If you find an investment property to be of the standards you would choose to live in, its more than likely that it will be a good investment.