While emigration has long been seen to be the realm of ‘wealthy’ South Africans who can afford to leave the country, new statistics provided by FNB show that this is not necessarily the case.
According to FNB’s estate agent survey for the first quarter of 2018, the number of people selling their homes with the purpose of emigrating has remained virtually unchanged over the last three months, following a steady increase since 2014.
Expressed as a percentage of total homes sold, selling to emigrate reached its lowest level in the history of the survey (which began in early 2008) back in the final quarter of 2013, at an estimated 2.0% of total home selling.
“Subsequently, however, this selling motive underwent a gradual rising trend, reaching 7.4% of total selling by the 4th quarter 2017 survey. The first quarter of 2018 then returned an unchanged estimate of 7.4%,” FNB said.
Selling based on income-areas
FNB further looked at the data by breaking it down into four “Income Areas”, which are self-defined by agents taking part in the survey.
When looking at these statisitcs, FNB said that the emigration rate was fairly well spread across all four income areas early in 2018, although it was still at its highest in what agents term the “Upper Income” Area segment.
The four income areas are:
- High Net Worth Areas (average house price = R3.53 million)
- Upper Income Areas (average house price = R2.81 million)
- Middle Income Areas (average house price = R1.79 nillion)
- Lower Income Areas (average house price = R1.18 million)
“The High Net Worth Areas returned an emigration related selling estimate of 6% of total selling, but it was in the slightly lower priced segment, the Upper Income Area segment, where the highest estimate (8.9%) was to be found. Middle Income Areas recorded a 6% estimate and Lower Income Areas 6.6%,” FNB said.