Last year was a bit of an annus horribilis for the property industry. A volatile combination of political and economic uncertainty led to a cauldron of concern. Someone was heard to say: “You can’t even give your house away!” While the denouement may not have been that dramatic, it nevertheless saw house prices dropping dramatically.
It seems that where the sales are happening are close to transit routes and schools. The land has already been earmarked close to the expansion routes of the Gautrain.
No-one has yet earmarked a date when this is to happen although it has been on the board for some time. Routes are set to include East Rand Mall in the east, Randburg in the north, and Westgate in the west.
If the current property expansions close to current Gautrain routes are anything to go by, property along these lines will boom.
SA Real Estate: What to look out for in 2019
Share and share alike
The worldwide trend of Airbnb has also hit South Africa and has been growing apace. For those not in the know, there is where you let a room or two out to holidaymakers from abroad or nationally.
This removes the sterility of a hotel room and adds the benefit of making friends with locals, who in turn will give you the complete low-down of where to go and what to see. Plus, and this is especially for those from abroad, you get to have a braai in your host’s garden! You wouldn’t want to miss out on this experience.
Some people are buying homes specifically for Airbnb purposes. It makes a lot of sense and it’s a lot cheaper than staying in hotels.
With the cost of living so extravagant these days, (did you know that food prices in South Africa are higher than that of the UK?) children are living at home longer (even into their 30s and 40s), and parents are even taking in married couples. It’s just so darn hard to get onto the property market ladder!
On the other hand, children have also been helping their parents with the sale of their properties so their folks can downscale.
Green’s the thing
Everyone is scouting around in an effort to cut costs and save. Two major areas being targeted are electricity and water. People are asking for boreholes or borehole potential, and solar panels are the in-thing now, both for generating power and heating water.
It makes sense in a country with so much sunshine that you would go the solar route. Some people are getting themselves off the grid this way. This trend is going to be huge in 2019.
Um, that’s a little too big
Going down is where it’s going to be in 2019. People are not looking to impress with huge palace-like houses anymore (unless, of course, you have those rippling resources!) – it just costs too much to maintain and for most these days, comfortable survival is the name of the game.
Many people are also working from home these days, or hybrid-working as it’s now called, where they mix company office with home office, so a studio or extra bedroom is a good plot for 2019.
Heading for the estate
Estates provide security and that’s what top in most people’s minds today, and with good reason. Look around in the Cape and Gauteng, and you’ll find estate properties are popping up everywhere.
So long, farewell, adieu!
Families will head down south to the Cape again from Gauteng with dams there at respectable levels. Another big trend which started a few years back and continues apace is that of emigration abroad. More and more people are selling up and leaving as uncertainty continues its hold.
Looking for property online has already become de rigueur. Facilities that enable you to complete transactions are available there as well, so with the convenience at your fingertips, expect this to get even bigger in 2019.