While buying a property in South Africa is relatively straightforward, there are certain practises of which a buyer should be aware. Below you will find a general overview of the home buying process in South Africa.
South African law allows non-residents to buy property without any restriction and most buyers will find the process similar to that of the UK. Most properties in South Africa are sold as freehold with an individual title, but properties can also be owned as sectional title or share block:
Non-resident property purchasers in South Africa can have confidence in their estate agent while most agents will act in their best interests during the buying process. They are governed by a strict code of conduct and must undergo a series of training courses before they are allowed to practise as agents. All brokers and agents must belong to the Estate Agent's Board, which strictly enforces the rules and regulations regarding buying and selling properties.
When the purchaser has found a property of their dreams, an offer will need to be made for the property. A word of caution here - once the agreement of sale has been signed there is no backing out of the deal unless some extraordinary circumstances come to light.
It is not usual to have a survey done in South Africa, but your agent can arrange one if you wish.
The agreement will deal with the following points:
The buyer's lawyer should also ensure that the seller has no other outstanding debts on the property prior to transfer.
A legally qualified conveyancer must handle the registration of a property and the costs are usually paid by the buyer, but can be split between the two. However if this is so, it must be stated in the agreement of sale.
All necessary documents for the transfer will be prepared and the title is then registered in the land registry. From the time of transfer, all former mortgages are cancelled and the new mortgage is registered.
Transfer duty is payable at the following rates:
No duty up to R500,000 of the purchase price
5% (R25,000) R500,001 - R1,000,000
from 8% R1,000,001
Apart from transfer duty, the range of costs will include lawyer's fees and mortgage arrangement fees. Buyers should allow an additional 5 to 8% of the purchase price when considering a property purchase in South Africa. In addition, if the property is new, buyers may have to pay for electrical and water installations. You should ask your builder to confirm this in writing before signing any agreement.
In any country, property owners will find they have to pay taxes and we advise you to consult a tax expert who has in depth knowledge of the system. Our tax experts can advise you on various ways to legitimately save on your tax bill while taking into account your particular situation.
Value Added Tax or VAT is charged only on agent's fees which are normally paid by the seller.
Property taxes are annual taxes that are paid to local councils for services such as garbage collection and sewerage installations and vary from according to region.
Get the latest property and investment opportunities direct to your inbox for FREE (you can unsubscribe anytime)
Five African Property Markets in Top 10 Emerging Economies
More South African Buyers Expected in UK Property Market
South Africa: Rand Investors' Misfortune is Foreign Investors' Gain
The Rise of the First Time Buyer in South Africa
Key Real Estate Investment Opportunities in Africa
South Africa's Hotels Sustain Double-Digit Growth
All property news from South Africa
Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Fill out a requirements form and our experts will help you find a great selection of properties for sale in South Africa.
Help me find property in South Africa
Considering a property purchase in South Africa or need to transfer currency to/from South Africa?
Save Thousands in Currency Transfers
When considering a buying property in South Africa, you are well advised to get expert mortgage advice from a mortgage broker.
Get a mortgage quote in South Africa
Owners Direct is one of the UK's leading direct from owner rental websites and the first choice for holiday home owners who want a cost effective and easy way to fully book their properties.
Find out more
If you own or are about to purchase property in South Africa, you get an insurance quote using our online insurance quote form.
Get Insurance in South Africa
Do you have your British assets covered by a will?
Do you have your movable foreign assets covered by a will?
Have you made plans to protect your family in the event of your death?
Get more information on Wills
Everything you need to know about transferring your UK Pension is in our downloadable guide.
Get more information on Pensions
Free State Property
Limpopo Province Property
Province of Eastern Cape Property
Province of KwaZulu-Natal Property
Province of North-West Property
Province of Northern Cape Property
Province of the Western Cape Property
Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest and best investment opportunities around the world!