Returning expats are not only fuelling rentals across Cape Town, but also sales.

According to Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank, the much-discussed return of South African expatriates from overseas countries hit by the world’s economic woes is having a beneficial effect on the Cape property market as a high proportion of these people are heading for Cape Town.

"I am told that 200 000 bankers and financial sector staff have lost, or will lose, their jobs worldwide," said Steward. "The good news is that those returning to SA now comprise nearly three percent of our buyers and, in our experience, are finding jobs here often by setting up in a new business, which is good for the economy.

"Most, too, are capable of paying large deposits or of buying the property with one cheque. This means that they are not held back by the National Credit Act rulings."