Property Newsletter

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All the latest property news at your fingertips with the monthly Lightstone newsletter. Stay ahead of market trends, property buying news and data-led insights.

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The Rands and sense of SA’s property market. How affordable is Affordable?

April 2024

With current economic conditions, including the cost of living, slow economic growth and stagnant income, affordability is key when it comes to South Africans having a fighting chance at home ownership. In this edition of the newsletter, we look at (among other things) just how affordable the Affordable property market is in South Africa right now. Our latest insights uncover the property price bands, average purchase price, the state of Affordable property, and the demographics of those who are buying property in this segment. We also look at the state of property transaction volumes in the Northern Cape as well as how far South Africans ventured from their homes during this year's Easter holidays.

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Residential property stock near R7t in value.

March 2024

It’s been six months since we’ve taken a look at South Africa’s total residential market. The numbers reveal that while transfer volumes have dropped to near 2020 Covid levels, values do fare better. March was a better month for transfer volumes and value in both 2022 and 2023, so there will be keen interest to see whether 2024 transfers follow the same pattern. While looking more closely at Soweto, we see that homeowners spent nearly R900m on 2 200 properties in 2023, the highest annual sales value recorded in the iconic township.

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HPI forecast and the roads more travelled.

February 2024

Lightstone’s much anticipated House Price Inflation (HPI) forecast for 2024 is here! Paul-Roux De Kock, Lightstone’s Chief Analytics Officer explains the company’s low, mid and high forecast for 2024. Lightstone analyses anonymised, aggregated and upweighted telemetry data to track and understand vehicle movement trends. In this issue Lightstone looks at motor vehicle travel to see what it tells us about holiday travel this past December. And finally, our House Price Index for January is included.

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Ready for lift-off in 2024.

January 2024

Could 2024 be a better year for South Africa’s property market? According to insights from Lightstone’s annual Estate Agent survey, the outlook could be positive but hinges on favourable political and economic conditions. Despite a recent dip in year-on-year house price inflation to 2.52%, the Low Value segment, continues to increase, reaching 18.2% in 2023. What trends have emerged in 2023 that could indicate potential for further expansion in the South African residential property sector in 2024?

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And that’s a wrap for 2023

December 2023

We know from the data that it was a challenging year for the property industry. For the final edition of our Property Newsletter for the year we share a synopsis of the property landscape in numbers, we share the results of our Estate Agent survey and we end off with a short animation which sums up our Lightstone year. From all of us at Lightstone, we’d like to thank you for your continued support. We hope our insights and solutions helped to simplify a complex year. We look forward to making 2024 the year of “Plenty More”!

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From idle data to competitive advantage

November 2023

In the near future, an estate agent will know who will list a property on the market in an area, and at what price, because AI-driven insights products will say so. Similarly, data will help a car dealer understand which vehicle and value-added products will provide the most joy to a specific customer on their floor while optimising their profit. Transforming data into insights is however the key and the more complex and uncertain the world gets the greater the demand for crystal clear insights. And this is what Lightstone does in both the Property and Auto industries. Hear more from Lightstone’s Chief Analytics Officer, Paul-Roux de Kock. And talking about data insights, our final province-focus article hones in on the Free State.

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Many roads lead to small towns and back to the office

October 2023

Many compounding factors over the last few years have resulted in a weak economy and high interest rates. While this has had its impact on the residential property market with overall sales volumes lower now than pre-Covid, it is encouraging to see how the relative proportion of sales in some areas (provinces/municipalities/towns) is getting an even larger proportion of the sales than pre-2019. Also in this October issue of Property Newsletter, Lightstone analyses the residential property market in Limpopo which highlights the growing informal sector, and takes a look at the slow creeping impact of high interest rates. Using its sought-after telemetry data, Lightstone takes a look at whether South African’s are following the international trend to return to the office.

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Demand for residential property on the up in the WC,but Gauteng is still the country’s mall capital

September 2023

In this newsletter we unpack many features of the residential property market, including a close-up look at what the market is doing in Gauteng, how many Freehold, Sectional Title and Estate properties there are on the market, the impact of foreign buyers on our market, the current House Price Index, and using Lightstone’s telemetry data to monitor malls, we look at mall activity in Gauteng.

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Celebrating women ownership in South Africa

August 2023

More women own homes in South Africa than men – and women are catching men when it comes to financing new motor vehicles. More than 1.6 million women have benefited from government housing subsidies since the mid-nineties when the scheme was first implemented.

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Rising interest rates add to tough times, but Western Cape offers promising opportunity

July 2023

In this article, we examine sales activity in 2021 and 2022 in three residential property price bands across the country’s six major metros. Cape Town leads stock count and sales in the upper price bands, while Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni dominate in the lower bands.

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South Africa’s youth buying fewer houses and cars

June 2023

If you’re a Lightstone Property client, this is a reminder that Lightstone is also the go to for Auto data. In this article we share data showing that South African youth are buying fewer properties and the proportion of cars being sold to the youth is also down on ten years ago.

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Population growth, housing and investment growth and where do homeowners go when they sell their first home?

May 2023

There’s an interesting mix of topics in our May 2023 edition of Property Newsletter, compiled and written for the industry. From a close look at what is driving housing in North West Province, to a global comparison on housing prices and we answer the question: where do homeowners go when they sell their first home?

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Homeowners debate municipal values in SA’s big two cities

April 2023

The value of residential property has been headlining for some time after both Johannesburg and Cape Town municipalities tabled new valuation rolls. We look at how market valuation variances and inaccuracies impact rates and taxes and why municipal valuations matter so much. In our provinces story we unpack how ongoing urbanisation fuelled by a lack of service delivery and economic stagnation is driving South Africans to three provincial economic hubs.

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SA’s residential property market is changing, and mostly for the better

March 2023

In this issue, we take a look at how sales volumes have recovered from Covid-19, along with rising sales and a high number of First Time Buyers in the residential property market. In our towns story, we look at the growth of residential sales prices in five randomly selected townships. There’s more, we also take a snapshot of the suburbs where most sales were recorded, per price band, in the last year.

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Trends shaping the residential property market in SA

February 2023

In this issue, we look at how Estates have experienced the greatest value growth in SA’s residential property market, the growth and decline in eThekwini residential property prices and share a snapshot of suburbs with the highest value property prices and entry-level transactions last year.

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House price inflation likely to be below inflation

January 2023

2023 will see House price inflation (HPI) in South Africa’s residential property market shaped by local and global challenges – but mostly will feel the pain of the country’s stagnating economy and grow less than inflation.

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Closing the door on 2022

December 2022

As we close the door on another challenging year – from rising interest rates and political and economic uncertainty to the most loadshedding-intensive year ever – we look at what 2022 looked like in numbers, share the results of our Estate Agent survey and the Lightstone Property team shares a video message.

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Changing realities shaping residential property market

November 2022

South Africa’s residential property market is changing, shaped by post-Covid changing work patterns, poor service delivery and the growing need for housing in lower price bands..

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Good news in SA Property market

October 2022

Good news in property price inflation numbers and South Africans head back to their favourite leisure activities.

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Pockets of activity as SA Property market adapts to challenging times

September 2022

South Africa, like most of the world, is going through challenging times. Covid-19, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other geo-political tensions have all exacerbated already tough economic conditions. The local property market is not immune to these challenges, but it’s pleasing to report pockets of activity and progress around the country.

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Women changing the property and auto landscape

August 2022

As South Africa celebrates Women’s Month in August, where the country honours the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women, Lightstone puts the spotlight on women’s growing participation in the economy.

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Slow and steady property market revival

July 2022

South Africa’s property market is showing signs of sustainable recovery following a drop in sales caused by Covid-19. Total residential property transfers are on track to match or exceed 2021 while the value of transactions has soared, driven by higher prices in the Western Cape.

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SA residential property holds firm despite Covid-19

June 2022

The SA property market has come through the Covid-19 pandemic better than anticipated, Hayley Ivins-Downes told viewers who attended a recent Nedbank Private Wealth webinar, and she explains why in our lead story.

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Residential property bounce back continues as foreign buyers keep faith in market

May 2022

South Africa’s residential market is rebounding in certain places and in specific price bands, and there are still pockets of opportunity for those who want to get into the market.

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Freehold leads sales volumes, but value is in Estates

April 2022

Property inflation in all three property types increased exponentially from 2019 to mid-2021 after four years of decline, and then Freehold and Sectional Title inflation began drifting downwards while Estate properties held steady.

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Mixed fortunes for property

March 2022

Residential property sales have made up ground lost during Covid and transfer volumes could be on track to break the 300 000 level last seen in 2008. In our lead story 2021 residential property sales recover from Covid we report that the total value of transfers in 2021 reached an all time high of R326 billion.

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Building on positive gains

February 2022

The residential market is showing signs of rejuvenation after two years of Covid-19 stress, and while property transfers overall are still trending negatively, the upper middle and luxury bands have proved more resilient. In Residential market bouncing back after Covid blues, we look at transfer numbers nationally and in the big provinces, and then assesses transfers across the different property bands.

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House price inflation set to follow 2021 trend

January 2022

Despite the uncertainties and challenges facing South Africa’s residential property market, Lightstone’s scenarios for house price inflation (HPI) in 2022 are similar to what was anticipated for 2021, and what actually played out. Last year’s HPI was 4.35%, just above the mid HPI scenario of the 4% forecasted. We have settled on 4.2% as our mid HPI scenario for 2022 and this could nudge higher if reformist government policies take precedence over the friction within the ruling party. Time will tell!

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2021: review and trendspotting

December 2021

It has been another year of challenge, change and opportunity for South Africa’s property market. Covid-19 is lingering on although vaccinations are lifting defenses against the virus – and the mood generally. The low interest rates certainty helped the property market, although the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng caused significant damage and rattled confidence. So what has changed and who were the winners and losers in 2021?

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Changing residential preferences mirror new priorities

November 2021

Our lead story this month, Western Cape is the first choice for semigrants, highlights a residential property trend which has accelerated in the Covid-19 era – middle class homeowners are opting to semigrate to coastal and country areas, mostly in the Western Cape.

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Change and transformation drive opportunities in property and business

October 2021

Despite poor economic conditions and socio-political uncertainty, A buyers’ market looks at how low interest rates have been a boost for the property market – and semigration, buying up and safe living are providing areas of opportunity although first-time buyers appear to have lost some of their appetite.

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Market steady, opportunities with new developments

September 2021

South Africa's property market is recovering from a 16% drop in transfers in 2020, primarily the result of Covid-19, and returning to pre-2020 numbers.

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