The number of people selling their homes in South Africa in order to emigrate, increased steadily in 2015, data published by FNB shows.
It follows a report published in February, by New World Wealth, which showed that almost 1,000 South African millionaires left the country in 2015 as a weak local currency has taken a toll on their fortunes.
NWW conducted a survey questioning why the wealthy were leaving. The respondents said that financial concerns were the main reason to leave – but social issues also played a big part.
Here are the primary reasons millionaires are leaving:
- Financial concerns.
- Inability to deal with changing social dynamics in SA.
- Concerns for children’s future – particularly around schooling and universities.
- Crime – rape and hijacking concerns were highlighted.
- BEE requirements in doing business.
- Concerns that someone in their family may contract HIV/AIDS due to prevalence of virus in SA.
In 2015, a report by InterNations Expat Insider shed some light on the profile of South African expats.
It found that the general profile of the South African expat indicated that around half are skilled employees or managers – and a quarter identify as being in top management positions.
According to InterNations, 70% of South African expats are generally satisfied with leaving the country, with only 13% feeling dissatisfied with their decision.
According to the report, personal safety and crime considerations are the biggest push factors.
The other top leading factors are the country’s high cost of living, as well as the economy and labour market.
South African consumers are in for a shock in April when a flurry of price hikes are set to be implemented including electricity, fuel, and food, while the Reserve Bank also raised its repo rate by 25 basis points to 7%, following a 50 basis points hike in January.
FNB property economist John Loos said: “We have seen the estimated percentage of emigration-related selling creeping slightly higher, from a low of 2% of total selling in Q3 2013 to 4.4% by Q4 2015.”
Emigration related selling of residential property hit a peak of 20% at the back end of 2008. Loos noted that 2008/early-2009 was a very thin market with very little overall volume, which likely amplified the emigration-related selling when expressed as a percentage of the total.
The economist pointed out that initial load shedding from Eskom took place in 2008, which put a dampener on sentiment towards the country.
2015 saw similar blackouts for most of the year, but the energy parastatal has since arrested its supply woes and does not forecast any blackouts in 2016.