FNB has released its latest Estate Agents Survey results for the first quarter of 2019, shedding some light on the current market activity and sentiment in the property sector.
Shockingly, the survey revealed a massive jump in the number of people selling up and leaving the country.
The report showed that emigration-driven sales now account for 14.2% of all home sales – a big jump from 10% in the fourth quarter of last year.
“In fact such sales, according to estate agents, have doubled in the past two years and are, as expected, more prominent in the coastal areas and in upmarket segments,” said FNB economist, Siphamandla Mkhwanazi.
Speaking to BusinessTech, Mkhwanazi said that it’s important to highlight that these numbers convey estate agents’ perceptions about market activity – which may be influenced by sentiment at that time.
“We’ve seen this trend gradually rising since around 4Q13, and it could be attributable to depressed economic activity in South Africa over that extended period,” he said.
“According to the SARB, the current down phase of South Africa’s business cycle began in December 2013).
“The first quarter was a bit of an outlier (a jump from 10% to 14% of total sales), and we suspect this to have been influenced by political and policy uncertainties as we run closer to the elections.
“We do not deem this as a permanent step-change in the trend and expect that it will re-adjust after the elections.”
Mkhwanazi said that it is also worth mentioning that these perceptions predominantly emanate from agents that operate in upper income and high net worth areas.