These 10 new or increasing trends are expected to impact the market in 2019.
1. Value for money
Across all sectors of the market, value for money is a recurring theme for first-time and repeat buyers alike. Affordability is behind the continued strong performance of non-traditional areas amid perceptions that the more established and/or popular areas have seen a marked deterioration in affordability after several years of robust price growth.
2. Rising demand in small towns
Already small towns or lifestyle towns, previously considered holiday home destinations and with a great lifestyle and more affordable homes, are beginning to attract a growing number of buyers looking to buy their primary residence to escape the stress, congestion and expense of living in major urban hubs.
3. Convenient location
With fuel price increases, people are becoming more reluctant to travel long distances for their daily commute. This is coupled with increasing congestion (urbanisation and densification) which makes location even more critical. As a result, the trend towards smaller, better located properties (sectional title) will continue – with compact, upmarket developments on the periphery of robust growth nodes likely to become even more popular.
4. Key growth nodes to the north
Notably, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban all have one thing in common – each of these major metros has experienced burgeoning growth with the establishment of huge new nodes to the north of the cities – a trend which continues to gather momentum.
5. Young buyers
Younger buyers are opting for smaller homes because of cost and the reduced maintenance load. A global trend is the emergence of the micro-unit, between 20-30% smaller than a conventional sized studio. This also allows for a more affordable rental option for those wanting to live close to work.
With a slowdown in semigration to the Western Cape and a deterioration in the affordability of properties here, KZN’s North Coast, the Eastern Cape and Garden Route report a steady demand from home buyers from other provinces, including Gauteng, while Gauteng enjoys a constant inflow of particularly young buyers.
7. Investment in new developments
There is substantial government investment planned in Gauteng – in the Gautrain extension, transport corridors and numerous new megacities, and in KZN there is significant government spending planned around the aerotropolis and a major interchange, which it is hoped will open up and revitalise the area, as well as a new secure lifestyle precinct being developed in the Point area. Plus there is considerable private investment planned or underway in key growth nodes such Century City – redevelopment of Ratanga Junction – plus the R1.1bn expansion of the V&A Waterfront.
8. Ongoing appeal of estate living
Today, home buyers are increasingly focused on living in a secure environment while having easy access to amenities and outdoor and sporting activities. Prime location plus wellness facilities, equestrianism, fishing, walking and other sporting pursuits help differentiate the product offering from one estate to another.
9. 24-hour economy
As people increasingly adopt a live-work-play lifestyle, we are seeing the growth of decentralised hubs with a growing 24-hour economy. For property owners this means it is possible to get more use out of an existing property – not just for working or living, but instead a single building or development is used for living, working, shopping, exercising and entertainment.
10. Retirement accommodation
There is an ongoing shortage of suitable, affordably priced retirement accommodation to cater for a growing demand across all sectors of the market, as well as an emerging trend of retirees moving away from traditional retirement homes and instead opting for more flexible, active living within an existing and secure residential community with a host of activities.