SA property buyers making golden deals in Dubai

South African property investors are eyeing opportunities in Dubai. Picture: Abid Bin Nazar/Pexels

South African property investors are eyeing opportunities in Dubai. Picture: Abid Bin Nazar/Pexels

Published Jul 16, 2023


Dubai is increasingly catching the eyes of South African property investors for, even though the prices can be eye-watering, property is still considered affordable.

The most expensive property sold last year – a beachfront villa in Palm Jumeirah – was purchased for just under R3 billion (AED 598 million), but prices start from around R2,3m (AED 450,000).

If you want UAE residency, which will give you a UAE bank account, Nombasa Mawela, licensee and principal of the Seeff Property Group’s newly opened office in the city, says you will need to invest a minimum of just under R4m (AED 750,000).

From a cost comparison perspective the R4m-plus range equates to what you will pay for a house in an upper middle-class neighbourhood in South Africa, and there are now finance options available.

Most recently, she adds, non-UAE residents can now qualify for a mortgage of up to 75% of the purchase price. The developers are also providing flexible payment plans of up to five years for those not wanting a mortgage. She says the ROI on property investments is among the highest in the world.

Dubai is regarded among the safest cities to live in and offers centrality to most parts of the world. As a growing business and tourist and shopping hub, opportunities just keep multiplying daily.

Property types tend to vary from apartments to luxury villas with prices ranging from around R2,3m (AED 450,000) for a basic studio depending on the location and amenities. A one-bed unit ranges from around R4,5m (AED875,000) and villas from around R14,3m (AED2,8 million).

Mawela says South Africans are increasingly looking offshore for property investments, with or without residence, depending on their needs. And they are not the only ones. Property investment from African continent buyers – including Nigeria, Egypt and Kenya, as well as many South African expats who live in Dubai, is expanding.

According to Euronews, foreign property buyers are helping drive a property market boom in the UAE, and particularly in Dubai. Last year saw record-breaking transaction numbers over 2022, a trend experts are forecasting will continue in 2023. More than 97,000 property transactions worth €67,38bn were recorded in Dubai last year.

Despite the economic outlook globally, high-net-worth individuals have continued to invest in Dubai in the past 18 months, which has boosted the luxury market. Real estate experts say a maturing market has driven demand inside the country from apartments to townhouse and villa communities with prices in 2023 expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels.

Foreign buyers in Dubai also include those from France, Switzerland, Germany, and other countries in Europe, as well as the UK.