More Gauteng residents are semigrating to the Western Cape – here’s where they are moving to

 ·8 Jan 2022

Gauteng residents and semigrants from other South African provinces are buying more properties in the Western Cape, a presentation from data analytics group Lightstone Properties shows.

The presentation on semigration – when a buyer sells a property and purchases a new one in a new province – also assessed who is moving and why.

“We are seeing a substantial increase of homeowners moving out of Gauteng – despite it being South Africa’s economic centre – an increase from 39% in 2019 and 2020 to 43% in 2021, the highest it has been in the last seven years,” Lightstone said.

“Most people are moving to the Western Cape, up to 35% in 2021 from 31% in 2020. The numbers were even higher at 36% in 2016 and 2017. For Gauteng, its declining popularity is evident in this data too – whereas in 2015, 29% of semigrants were moving to Gauteng, this had dropped to 27% in 2020 and to 21% in 2021.”

Lightstone’s data also shows there has been an increase to the Eastern Cape from 7% in 2015, to 9% in 2021, while KwaZulu-Natal has dropped marginally from 14% in 2015, to 13% in 2021.

What’s driving semigration – and where are people moving to? 

The trend towards moving from metropolitan areas to smaller and larger towns or Cape Town – South Africa’s second-largest metro – can mostly be attributed to a move away from crime-and-grime and towards a slower, safer, quality lifestyle in the small to large towns, Lightstone said.

Semigrants are also attracted to the fact that municipalities are typically better run in the Western Cape than in other parts of the country.

The data shows that Mossel Bay is the top destination for semigrants to the Western Cape, followed by the seaside suburb of Milnerton and the city of Cape Town itself.

While the numbers of people moving to Gauteng are relatively high, they are less than those leaving. for the Western Cape, more people are arriving than leaving, Lightstone said.

The data shows that most people moving from Gauteng are in the 49-64 age group, and most of that group are moving to the Western Cape. The 36-49 age group makes up the second-largest category and again the Western Cape is their preferred destination.

Notably, 46% of buyers moving to the Western Cape are more likely to move to a new property of greater value and smaller size, while 34% will downgrade size and value and 20% will upgrade the size and downgrade value, Lightstone said.

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