Citymark National Housing Market Report

With support from the Cities Support Programme of National Treasury, the Citymark project undertakes analysis of South Africa’s residential property markets, with a particular focus on the lower end of the market. Utilising title deeds data obtained from Lightstone Pty Ltd, the analysis separates the market into five segments, allowing the careful examination of the differentiated performance of the entry level (under R300 000), affordable (R300 000 – R600 000), conventional (R600 000 – R900 000), high-end (R900 000 – R1.2m) and luxury (over R1.2m) markets.

This national report, provides a detailed analysis of government-sponsored properties, freehold and sectional title homes, new and resale transactions, lending, and first-time homeowners in South Africa. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the report includes a high-level analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the property market. The report provides recommendations on how to leverage the residential property market to allow households to get a first step on the property ladder, access mortgage finance, and realise the value of their housing.

The residential property market is the largest component of the South African property market, accounting for the majority of property assets, and a crucial source of household wealth. In 2019, there were 6.6 million residential properties on South Africa’s deeds registry, valued at approximately R5.5 trillion. Of the total properties, more than half (55%) were valued under R600 000. Government-subsidised properties also made up a sizable portion (30% or 2 million) of all residential properties, particularly in the lower end, indicating the impact of the massive investment of the national government housing programme over the years. In 2019, three quarters of all residential transactions were in the resale market. While Absa accounted for the largest share (27%) of bonded transactions under R300 000 in 2019, banks continue to issue more bonds in the upper segment of the market. However, The drop in the prime rate from 8.75% in March 2020, to 7% (currently), significantly increases affordability and creates considerable opportunity to broaden access to mortgage finance, particularly for first time (working class) home buyers.

CAHF’s work in South Africa is supported by:

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