Some leave, some come back, badda bing badda boom. Let me tell you what I think. Every single expat has got a Plan B in place. What's Plan B? It's the "Get out of SA and have somewhere to go in case shit hits fan" plan. Good to have.
The increase in enquiries about local property indicates South Africans living abroad are coming home due to the international economic meltdown, said Seeff Properties.
Previous post; SAns not welcome overseas
She said at a property exhibition that the Homecoming Revolution held in London six months ago, most of the expatriates visiting the Seeff stand indicated their desire to return to South Africa within 24 months.
She attributed the change of heart to South Africans who had previously held secure positions and earned good money but were now facing cutbacks and retrenchments due to the global economical crisis.
Campbell said, however, that many visitors at the exhibition indicated that they first needed to sell their properties in the United Kingdom before they would be able to return to South Africa.
Unpopular BEE policies
She said it seemed that South Africans wanted to return home despite some negative publicity surrounding the upcoming general elections on 22 April, the unpopular black economic empowerment policies and crime.
"They believed that skills shortages ensured that correctly skilled people were still finding jobs regardless of colour and that there were many opportunities associated with infrastructure developments ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup," she said.
But in contrast, Campbell said most of the overseas enquiries from Europeans looking for second or holiday homes or to invest in South African farms, had dropped.
The return of expats has, however, helped the South African property market.
"People's decisions to return have had a favourable effect on our rental market," she said.
"In fact, rental returns are becoming stronger and stronger every day. People with investment properties are seeing a better return not only from rentals but from ongoing drops in interest rates."
Campbell said South Africans abroad had often saved substantial sums and therefore could stomach banks' tightened lending criteria.
"Exchange rates also worked in their (expats) favour. They are getting a good rate. At present 10 000 British sterling equates to about R140 000 which is a generous deposit on a R1.4-million purchase," she said.