Plettenberg Bay got featured in the New York Times; read the article here.
The NYT also supports the statement that prices are bottoming out:
Now Ms. Uys believes the market has hit bottom. “We’ve had a couple of months with good sales coming through,” she added.
Wealthier areas along the Atlantic seaboard near Cape Town have stayed relatively strong. Most buyers there do not need financing, and foreign buyers are still showing interest in Camps Bay, Clifton, and other wealthy suburbs of Cape Town, according to Ms. Uys. Luxury homes in these areas sell for 6 million to 20 million rand ($790,000 to $2.6 million). In Plettenberg Bay, however, it’s possible to find a nice house for 3 to 5 million rand ($395,000 to $660,000). In Johannesburg, Ms. Uys said, a nice house in the Westcliff area is likely to cost at least 7 million rand ($920,000).
House prices in Plettenberg Bay vary widely depending on proximity to the beach, according to Fiona Thorpe, a property consultant with Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty in Plettenberg Bay and the listing agent for the house featured here. Inland vacation homes sell for around 3.5 million rand ($475,000), but beachfront can cost as much as 30 million rand ($4.05 million). Ms. Thorpe estimated that if this house had beachfront access, it would cost 10 million rand ($1.35 million) more than its current asking price.
Foreigners are not restricted from owning property in South Africa, Ms. Thorpe said, but in general the maximum amount of financing they can get is 50 percent. That said, most foreigners pay in cash.
Buyers pay a transfer tax, the exact amount depending on the purchase price. This house is listed at 6.5 million rand; its transfer tax would be 465,000 rand ($62,700), plus 29,000 rand ($3,900) for legal fees, 4,060 ($548) in value-added tax and another 1,000 rand ($135) in deed-transfer costs.
When foreigners sell their South African properties, Ms. Thorpe said, the government withholds about 20 percent of the sales price until all capital gains taxes are paid. Capital gains tax levels are pegged to income-tax bracket.
The New York Times forgets mentioning that not all SA property transactions are subject to transfer tax; people who for example buy property in Whale Rock, pay no transfer tax.