The average age of the South African home buyer continued to rise in 2016 according to FNB’s annual 1st Time and Age Group Home Buying report.
The average age of individual property buyers has increased from 40.92 years in 2007 to 44.4 years by 2016 – an increase from 43.82 years in 2015.
This has been helped by a weakening in the first-time home buyer segment in the past 2 years or so, and an increased number of ageing home owners down-scaling to smaller homes due to “life stage”.
According to FNB, a very significant factor at play is a strong growth rate in age cohorts in their 50s and 60s who have reached a stage where they wish to downscale due to “life stage”.
These ageing home owners now form a very significant part of the home repeat buyer market as they downscale, FNB said.
“Selling to downscale due to life stage refers most often to home owners whose children have left home, or they are merely becoming too old to maintain a larger home, and so the decide to downscale to a smaller or cheaper home.”
The report also showed a decline of first-time buyers entering the market in 2016, with first time buyers making up an estimated 20% of total buying. This represents the 2nd straight year of decline from a 26.5% in 2014 and 24.25% in 2015.
Cape Town returns by far the lowest estimated 1st time buyer percentage of 13%. By comparison, the major Gauteng regions of Greater Joburg and Tshwane return far higher estimates of 22% and 24% respectively.