Township Residential Property Markets in South Africa

The functioning of resale markets is a critical piece in the overall puzzle for resolving South Africa’s housing issues. And yet, in the face of huge housing backlogs and sprawling informal settlements, it has not received sufficient attention from policymakers. For generations, households living in townships areas were tenants with limited tenure security. With the transition to democracy, the housing markets in these areas have opened and households can now trade their housing. The purpose of this study, completed in 2004, was to understand the dynamics of township property markets in South Africa, and to develop policy and strategic recommendations which would result in the better workings of housing markets in township areas. Key questions asked by the study included: What role does the resale market play? What are the key challenges that undermine performance? How do we overcome these so that, over time, township properties become part of the wider residential property market?

This study gave rise to the Housing Entrepreneurs in South Africa study, the RDP Assets in South Africa study and the Affordable Land + Housing Data Centre.

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