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Low emigration levels boosting the SA house market - but are not yet complemented by increased foreign buying in SA

One of the most heartening aspects of the South African property market in recent months, says Mike van Alphen, National Manager of Rawson Finance, has been the decline in the number of people selling to emigrate. 

Quoting figures from the latest FNB Property Barometer, van Alphen said that 2008 saw emigration from South Africa reaching a peak: in the second quarter of that year, just on 20% of home sellers were emigrating. 

Today, says van Alphen, the FNB figures indicate that only 2.7% of home sellers are leaving South Africa.  This figure, calculated on the first quarter of this year, is 0.6% down on the previous quarter (the last quarter of 2012), when it was 3.3%.  Right now, there are a fair number of South Africans who are still considering emigration, however, they are deterred by the low growth and employment prospects in many of the popular destinations. Nevertheless, he says, it also seems clear, from recent figures, that South Africans still living here are more resilient to economic uncertainties and less perturbed by such factors as crime, corruption and unsatisfactory growth rates.

“In general, judging from conversations with our clients, it appears that they are able to take the long term view and this is now, on the whole, more positive than we have seen for some time. This is no doubt one factor, albeit by no means the most important, why the Rawson Property Group is seeing significant rises in sales this year.”


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