This one graph shows that more South Africans are leaving the country

 ·30 Mar 2017

A new FNB Estate Agent Home Selling Survey reveals an uptick in emigration-related home selling in South Africa.

One of the questions asked to respondents of the survey is to provide an indication as to the key reasons for selling properties.

“The ‘selling to emigrate’ motive for selling is one that we have been watching closely in recent years, given signs of rising social tensions, along with recent years of economic growth stagnation in South Africa,” said John Loos, household and property sector strategist at FNB.

“And indeed, our survey respondents have been pointing towards a gradual rise in the percentage of sellers selling to emigrate, from a low of 2% back in the final quarter of 2013 to 6.2% of total selling by the first quarter of 2017.”

The property analyst stressed that while the number is not extreme when compared to the estimate reaching as much as 20% in 2008, the rising trend is a concern from an economic performance point of view, as emigration-related home selling in many instances represents highly skilled labour departing for foreign shores.

FNB noted that the impact of the economic slowdown has not affected those people selling up to relocate to other parts of South Africa.

“The more affluent members of society are increasingly searching for lifestyle, and are often prepared to relocate for it.”

Read: This map shows where all South Africa’s skilled workers are going

“In certain cases, we believe that this ‘semigration’ has become the affordable alternative to emigration for some people, given that extreme property values in many popular emigration destinations have made emigration a very costly business.”

At 9% of total selling in the 1st quarter 2017 survey, this estimate is slightly down from the prior quarter’s 10%

The survey showed that for the two summer 2016/17 quarters, the City of Cape Town had the lowest percentage of sellers (5.5%) selling in order to relocate to another part of the country.

Simultaneously, Nelson Mandela Bay had the highest estimate of 17.7%, followed by Joburg with 10%, “and in the past our deeds data estimates have pointed to a strong Western Cape drive by many of the ‘semigrating’ inhabitants from the other regions,” Loos said.

Read: South Africans have found an alternative to leaving the country – move to Cape Town

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