How relationships influence the rental market

South Africans tend to rent while they’re in their 20s before buying a home and settling down. Men in their 30s generally don’t rent – until they turn 39, when there's a sudden spike.

According to TPN, which runs credit checks on potential tenants on behalf of landlords and agents, the reason for this is divorce.

This is because when a marriage breaks down, it’s typically the wife who stays in the family home while the husband moves out.

When the Sunday Times that Tokyo and Judy Sexwale are divorcing, they also noted that Judy Sexwale had moved into rented accommodation while Tokyo retained access to their various homes. That bucks the trend that TPN has picked up through their data.

According to a recently released survey by the South African Institute of Race Relations, the number of households is increasing, while the number of married couples is declining.

This suggests that more couples are cohabiting and marrying later – and that more people prefer to live on their own.

The rise in household numbers is good for the rental market, which continues to show reasonable returns relative to property prices.

One bed apartments yield better returns than four bedroom homes, according to FNB and TPN’s Residential Yield data (one bed apartments 11.7%, and four bedrooms full title 5.4% gross income yield), a reminder that more single person households are a bonus for property investors, especially for landlords who are just starting out.

Based on these figures, it would seem South Africa is not seeing the same phenomenon that appeared in the US when the recession hit. Because house prices nosedived, couples that would otherwise have split up were forced to live under the same roof. Divorce became a luxury, like a new car, with lawyers reporting a 40% drop in business.

According to Statistics South Africa, divorces in 2010 declined by a massive 25.4% from the previous year, which could be related to the economic climate.

Whether couples chose to stay together because supporting two households was too expensive or one of them moved out is unclear. The fact that South Africa has seen a steady increase in the number of smaller households would suggest that the trend towards single person living will continue.

When couples move in together, it’s bad for landlords because there’s one less household on the market. Conversely, when relationships breaks down, this can be a good thing because somebody has to find another place to stay in a hurry.

“We’re always fascinated by what comes out of our data,” says TPN managing director Michelle Dickens. “There’s a story, not just about rentals, but the wider social trends behind them.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 22 Nov 2017
      While sales have noticeably slowed in most sectors in most Cape town suburbs, the security estate sector in Constantiaberg has bucked the trend by remaining buoyant, with sales by August this year already surpassing total sales in 2016.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      The end of the year is fast approaching, and so are all the travellers, tourists and holidaymakers. For those who live near or own a property in a holiday-hotspot, the festive season also brings with it an abundance of short-term rental opportunities. Its a great way for property owners to make a few extra rand for their own holidays or to put towards their savings.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us