South Africa’s property market has always been a barometer of economic conditions, and 2024 will be no exception. The likes of lingering socio-economic effects of the pandemic, high interest rates, and stubborn unemployment figures will continue to impact market moves and while experts predict that property prices may see modest increases next year, affordability remains a concern. But Stats SA reminds us that on the upside, building plans passed for residential developments in the Western Cape increased by 22.2% year-on-year to a value of R15.4 billion (2022) and plans completed over the same period in the province increased 21.6% to R9.2 billion.
Growth in sales along the Atlantic Seaboard is a clear indication that even though the country has faced geopolitical instability, investors are still seeing the benefit of making long-term property investments along Cape Town’s unique band of suburbs located between the Table Mountain range and the Atlantic Ocean on the western coastline. In fact, the Western Cape has been touted as one of the most exciting emerging markets globally in the property sector.
One trend driving growth is the shift towards remote working, which has led to increased demand for homes with dedicated workspaces and green surroundings. Subsequently, areas with a strong focus on lifestyle amenities which combine the benefits of nature, connections inherent in cities but still have an undeniable homely feel, are expected to thrive. Approximately 80% of these sales have been in the Atlantic Seaboard, especially Sea Point, Camps Bay, Clifton, Bantry Bay, Fresnaye, and the Waterfront.
Semigration – or the ‘Zoom boom’ – is also seeing a revival and is set to become more of a market driver in 2024. Buyers from inland cities will continue to move to coastal areas that are geared towards a slower, safer, quality lifestyle, in areas where municipalities are typically better run than those in other parts of the country. For those who don’t want to or are unable to make the physical move down to the coast, we will keep seeing the semigration of investment at work, as more buyers seek to invest in areas of massive growth potential.
A third trend on the rise is sustainability – a highly conscious priority for consumers and companies that is no longer a buzzword but a necessity in the property sector. As climate change shifts become life experiences across the globe, South African property developers, including Blok, are increasingly ensuring that buildings are equip with energy-efficient solutions by means of solar installations. In 2024, we can expect more eco-friendly and energy-efficient properties to feature prominently in listings.
Speaking of listings, the Western Cape is a hotbed for buyers as they search for properties ranging from trophy homes to oceanside apartments, and everything in between across the province of the Mother City. Such attention will continue to be attracted from both local and international buyers, which will bode well for the property developers’ market in the coming year.
Sea Point serves as a prime illustration of the region’s burgeoning growth. It has transcended its reputation as merely a daytime haven and night-time entertainment hub. Instead, it has emerged as a highly sought-after destination for individuals in search of connected living spaces, a trend that is further poised to significantly influence the real estate market in 2024.
The shift in property development, which extends the concept of living spaces well beyond one’s front door, encompassing vibrant restaurant-lined streets, picturesque beachside walkways, inviting outdoor gyms, and lush green spaces, has become an irresistible attraction for a diverse spectrum of buyers. This allure reaches from experienced investors and ambitious young professionals to those embracing the freedom of empty nesting.
Ultimately, while South Africa’s property outlook for the coming year carries with it some reality-based challenges, it also presents opportunities for those who are well-prepared and informed. Keeping an eye on economic indicators, government policies, interest rates, and emerging market gaps will be essential to ensure that we all make sound property investment decisions.
Whether you’re looking to buy your first home, expand your property portfolio, or explore emerging markets, 2024 promises to be a year for those who are open to change and up for adaptation in South Africa’s real estate sector.