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“To lend or not to lend, that is the question?”
So, can foreigners buy property in South Africa.......and can the properties be financed by an SA financial institution? I’ll start off with a simple answer and then explain it in terms of the Aliens Control Act 96 of 1991. The simple answer is yes, foreigners can buy property in South Africa. If the foreigner does not intend to live in the property he or she will not need any permit to buy the property. The picture changes however if the intent of the purchase is to live in the property. Under these circumstances, in terms of the Aliens Control Act mentioned above, foreigners may buy or rent only if the foreigner has a permanent or temporary residence permit.
Foreigners are furthermore permitted to sell property in South Africa at any time and repatriate the original capital expended plus their profit at time of their choosing.
In as much as SA residents are subject to certain exchange controls, foreigners are required at the time of wishing to repatriate their funds, to establish that the funds initially utilised for purchasing the property were imported into the Republic at the time of purchase from foreign sources.
Non-residents purchasing property in SA and requiring financial assistance are subject to all the relevant financial institutions normal lending criteria and in addition to that the following Reserve Bank rules must be met:
South Africa has been a popular destination for foreign investors to purchase property in as it is a favourable getaway destination with worthwhile investments and has been profitable for them over the years. Not just in the residential market, foreign nationals play a significant role in ownership of real estate in the commercial sector.
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