select
|

What democracy has done for real estate

In the 20 years since the transition to democracy, SA has seen remarkable and mostly positive changes in almost every aspect of life and business – and nowhere more so than in the property market.
 
So says Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Real Estate, who notes that although the Group Areas Act had been repealed well before the first democratic election in 1994, there had in fact been very movement from the “black” townships to the “white” suburbs.“And had it not been for the advent of a proper democracy, our residential market would most likely have stayed locked up in these racial silos, and showed very little expansion or value growth.
 
“Instead, though, we have seen large-scale economic empowerment and a huge addition to SA’s middle class of about 2,7m adults that has played no small role in stimulating the real estate market. Literally tens of thousands of people who were previously not allowed or financially able to enter the market have become homeowners in the formal sector in the past 20 years, and our suburbs are increasingly multiracial and multicultural.
 
“In addition, the democratic government has been able to transfer almost 400 000 homes in the former townships to their residents since 1994, thereby giving thousands of families an asset on which they could start to build wealth. This has also given rise to a healthy market sector which has allowed many first-time buyers to gain entry to the market and where, according to First National Bank, values showed an inflation beating year-on-year increase of 7,6% in the last quarter of 2013.”
 
Alongside this, he says, thousands of new homes have been added to SA’s housing stock and property prices have risen, on average, by some 23% in real terms since 2004 – despite the intervening recession.
 
StatsSA figures show that builders and developers in the private sector have reacted to the increase in demand for homes by building more than 500 000 new units in the past 20 years, and at the same time, the Department of Human Settlements – which inherited a critical housing shortage of more than 2m units in 1994 - has built more than 1,4m units and provided more than 5m poor people with secure housing.
 
The most recent Census (2011) showed that all this activity in the property market has increased the percentage of home ownership in SA from 66% of households to 77% - and it is worth noting, says Gray, that the residential building industry has also been one of the biggest contributors to skills and job creation in the past 20 years.
 
“Democracy has also made SA, including its housing sector, more attractive to foreign investors, which has stimulated the whole economy. And on top of this, individuals and companies who have invested in the new SA have added to the demand for housing in both the ownership and rental sectors.”
 
 
He says the likely alternative to this progress,had SA not taken the road to democracy in 1994, “was at the very least greater economic sanctions that would have crippled our economy and led to massive job losses, deep recession and incurable poverty.
 
“Consequently, we really have plenty to celebrate as we mark the 20th anniversary of democracy this week – and plenty to look forward to in the next 20 years.”


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 28 Jun 2017
      People move house for a variety of reasons - from political and economic factors to job transfers, new job opportunities, retirement, lifestyle and family considerations.
    • 28 Jun 2017
      A new lifestyle concept in the form of 102 luxury units within a new apartment development situated in the upmarket Johannesburg suburb of Hyde Park has been launched by the G5 Properties Group in partnership with Sylt and Liviero today.
    • 28 Jun 2017
      Student apartments can be a great option for property investors – but only if they know which apartments to choose and how to manage their tenants.
    • 28 Jun 2017
      “While it can be a huge undertaking, downsizing offers many rewards,” says Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, an exclusive Affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate.
    • 27 Jun 2017
      Security has been a major influence in property buying decisions, with South Africans among the most security-conscience home buyers in the world. However, what about the rental market, is security as important?
    • 27 Jun 2017
      Despite the flailing economy, appetite for upmarket secure lifestyle estate homes in the scenic Winelands remains strong and the latest release to cater to this steady demand is the second residential phase at Devonvale Golf & Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.
    • 27 Jun 2017
      A recent study conducted by Seeff has shown that despite junk status and economic pressures, properties in the Cape are still fetching excellent price tags.
    • 27 Jun 2017
      The Sectional Titles Act of 1986 (STA), Sectional Title Schemes Management Act (STSMA) and the Community Schemes Ombud Service Act (CSOSA) all have requirements with regards to levy collections in sectional title schemes.
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK