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Pillars of Justice

A Snapshot of South Africa's Real Estate Market

In the dynamic landscape of South Africa's real estate sector, the first quarter of 2024 has revealed a surprising vigor, as indicated by recent Lightstone data. The average purchase prices, clocking in below R1.5 million, reflect a buoyant market sentiment, mirroring trends observed in the preceding year.

During the January-March period of 2024, Lightstone recorded a substantial number of property transactions, totaling just over R65 billion, spread across approximately 47,276 deals. The average transaction price for this period stood at R1,377,014, showcasing a resilient market with a diverse range of transactions.

Predominantly, the majority of property transactions—71.4% to be precise—were valued below the R1.5 million mark. Transactions spanning the R1.5 million to R3 million bracket accounted for 19.7% of the market, underscoring a broad spectrum of affordability. Notably, while only 9% of transactions surpassed the R3 million mark, this segment contributed significantly to the total transaction value, amounting to over R23.7 billion at an average price of approximately R5.5 million.

Delving deeper into the nature of these transactions, freehold properties emerged as the preferred choice for buyers, constituting nearly half of all transactions. In contrast, sectional titles comprised just over 30% of the market, indicating a preference for standalone properties. Freehold properties commanded a slightly higher average price of over R1.5 million, whereas sectional titles transacted at an average price exceeding R1 million.

Amidst these overarching trends, Cape Town emerged as a focal point of real estate activity, particularly in the high-end market segment. Transaction volumes mirrored those of the previous year, if not surpassing them, with notable traction observed in coveted areas such as the Atlantic Seaboard, City Bowl suburbs, and Southern Suburbs.

Intriguingly, certain areas within Cape Town showcased remarkable resilience, with transaction volumes exceeding R20 million. Clifton, Camps Bay, and Constantia stood out as hotspots for high-value transactions, with a singular sale exceeding the R50 million mark at the Waterfront.

Moreover, international buyers played a significant role in driving this upscale market, with approximately 32% of sales attributed to foreign investors. Noteworthy transactions included acquisitions by buyers from Germany, Switzerland, the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, and the USA, further underscoring Cape Town's global appeal.

Industry experts corroborate this optimistic outlook, noting a sustained momentum in the luxury market segment. Despite modest overall price growth, areas like Constantia and Bishopscourt continue to witness a robust influx of high-value transactions, underlining a steady trajectory of growth.

In light of these insights, it's evident that South Africa's real estate market is not only resilient but also exhibits pockets of remarkable strength, particularly in coveted regions like Cape Town. As the sector continues to evolve, it presents both challenges and opportunities for investors and homeowners alike, shaping the landscape of property ownership in the years to come.

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