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FNB survey points to emigration slowdown.

According to First National Bank’s (FNB) second-quarter estate agent survey released yesterday, from a peak of 20 percent (of total residential selling) in the third quarter of 2008, the percentage of residential sellers believed to be emigrating has declined to 4 percent for both the first and second quarters of 2011.

FNB Home Loans strategist John Loos said that it was not clear why the rate had dropped, but “flows of investments and people between countries have to with the “relative sentiment or environment changes’ between countries”

The declining economic fortunes of many European countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States meant that there was a significant drop in confidence levels in these countries.

“Sentiment aside, high unemployment rates in many developed countries probably mean that they aren’t nearly as welcoming to immigrants from the likes of South Africa, compared to a few years ago in the global boom years, and even where they are welcoming of immigrants the job prospects just aren’t as promising as a few years ago.”

Loos said agents’ estimates indicated that the percentage of expatriates buying property in South Africa had been relatively stable at about 2 percent to 3 percent of total buying since mid-2009.
“This is not perfect, as expats buying property in South Africa don’t always do so with a view to returning permanently.

“Nevertheless, we assume that this is a partial indicator of skills returning or intending to return,” he said.

The gap between emigration sellers at 4 percent of selling and expatriate buyers at 2 percent appeared to have narrowed, suggesting that the net skilled labour outflow might have fallen in 2011, Loos said.

Has the global economic declines made you decide against emigrating?


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