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

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

A new FNB study points to a strengthening in the Western Cape’s ability to attract repeat home buyers, while Gauteng appears to be moving in the opposite direction.

At 17.4% of its repeat home buying, no other province’s net inflow of repeat home buyers comes close to the Western Cape, according to the bank’s Repeat Home Buyer Study for 2017.

“We believe that the further acceleration in net inflow of repeat home buyers in 2016 explains much of the Western Cape’s far superior house price growth in 2016,” said John Loos, household and property sector strategist at FNB.

“Given that many people vote with their feet, studying migration patterns between regions in South Africa can provide a good indication of household perceptions towards regions, perceptions of economic opportunity, lifestyle or how well a region is run perhaps,” Loos said.

Repeat home buyers are those who sell a property and buy another one within a reasonably close time period to each other.

The inter-provincial repeat buyer migration picture shows 2016 to have been another year of increase in the rate of inter-provincial migration. From 12.8% of total repeat property buying being estimated to be inter-provincial repeat buying in 2015, the estimate rose to 16.1% in 2016, FNB said –  significantly higher than the 6.2% lows reached in 2009/10.

FNB said that the Western Cape has greatly enhanced its appeal to repeat home buyers over the past decade relative to many other regions of the country. It continues to be viewed as a popular ‘semi-gration’ destination.

The province has by far the strongest net inward migration (inward migrating repeat buyers minus outbound ones) rate of repeat buyers from other provinces.

“The City of Cape Town and surrounding areas has the benefit of a perceived high quality lifestyle compared to many other of SA’s cities, and it is this combination of good economic opportunity along with lifestyle that appears to be proving to be the winning recipe,” Loos said.

FNB noted that the country’s other major provinces – Gauteng, KZN and the Eastern Cape – find themselves with net outward migrations of repeat buyers for much of the time, although the Eastern Cape moved into very slight net inward migration in 2016.

“Net outflows are something that one would think may not bode well for those regions’ future economic growth rates,” said Loos.


The Net Inflow of Repeat Property Buyers to the Western Cape has become nothing short of spectacular, measuring a staggering 17.4% of the province’s total repeat buying, having accelerated steadily since 2009, and even more sharply from 2015’s 10.6% of repeat buying.

This net inflow percentage now dwarfs the net migration rates of the other 8 provinces.

On the other hand, Gauteng’s net outflow of repeat home buyers picked up speed to an estimated -9.1% of total repeat buying in that province. This is a significantly larger net outflow from 2015’s estimated -2.9%.


“This should be a cause for some concern, as much of this migration is the highly skilled and more affluent part of the labour force, and it takes with it significant skills and purchasing power away from the country’s largest provincial economy,” Loos said.

The property analyst noted that while Gauteng is not a good attractor of incoming repeat home buyers from other regions, its overall skills attraction and retention situation is not as bad as the repeat home buyer migration estimates may appear.

“Our reasoning is that we believe that a significant portion of departures of repeat buyers from Gauteng are for non-work related reasons, i.e. retirement and lifestyle,” Loos said.

He added that Gauteng also benefits more from inward migration of aspirant first time buyers in the early stages of their working life, than do the smaller provinces, due to that province still being by far the largest provincial economy and thus the major place of economic opportunity for new labour market entrants.


FNB pointed out that for Gauteng, the Western Cape is the most popular destination for its ‘semi-grants’, with 56.2% of its outbound repeat home buyers heading for that province in 2016.

Of the Big 4 provinces, the other one whose ‘semi-grants’ favour the Western Cape are those from the Eastern Cape, with 53.6% of that province’s outbound repeat home buyers heading for the Western Cape.

KZN, however, saw 46.64% of its outbound repeat buyers heading for Gauteng in 2016, making Gauteng still their most popular destination, followed by 34.77% of its outbound repeat buyers heading for the Western Cape.

For outbound repeat home buyers from the Western Cape, Gauteng remains the most popular destination, with 45.88% of this group headed there in 2016, followed by 21.82% headed to the Eastern Cape, FNB said.

Read: More South Africans are selling their homes to move overseas

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  • Skerminkel

    To save you the long read (with repeat after repeat of the same message):
    More people who sell homes in the Western Cape buy homes in the Western Cape again than in any other province. This means people like living in the WC and are moving there from other provinces.
    This means property values in the WC are growing.

    • Ray Mulder

      Aaa a genius at last… Thanks for the summary… Think of all the pixels they wasted with that long drawn out confusing report…

      • Skerminkel

        Thanks 😉 I just hope StaffWriter doesn’t see this as abuse and kicks me off the site! So much effort to register a new alias…

      • tiredofthis$#!7

        StaffWriter had to look busy for a few days.

    • Blapartheid Zulu

      Thank you! Saved me a few minute of my useless time!

    • Oran Gutan

      In addition more people from Gauteng and other provinces, the ones who can afford it, are moving to Western Cape. The last frontier of liberty and civilization. I wish I could do it.

      Hermanus looks very nice this time of the year.

  • Sennen Goroshi

    hmm WC especially CPT is quite expensive for me… a lot of ppl I know that have moved there did so cause of jobs, it seems that the IT sector is hiring a lot.

  • Francois Knoetze

    or just move to the garden route. enough opportunity here and quality of life is excellent

    • Progressive Pariah

      That is most likely a good drawcard for the Western Cape as well

    • Skerminkel


  • Helldriver Phoenix

    This explains the traffic congestions.

    • Aristophanes

      And the freaking water restrictions! Mind you, that’s more likely due to the Repeat Shack Builders from the Eastern Cape….

      • Helldriver Phoenix

        True, I never even thought of that.

  • Lone Stranger

    Why doesn’t this surprise me? Goes to show what happens in a DA lead province.

    • l0cal_user

      I really hope it isn’t to late for them to save the Eastern Cape… So I can sell my house and move to the Western Cape.

      • Aristophanes

        Judging by the reported 5000 a week still piling into Cape Town from the EC, you’re not going to have anyone to sell it to soon, anyway.

        I seem to think it took about six years for the DA to get even close to sorting out the catastrophe left by the ANC when they were finally kicked out here. And they still haven’t got it right thanks to the numbers coming in – I heard that Khayelitsha has increased to over a million inhabitants now, so how the hell are they supposed to provide all the services from our rates? Imagine how long it’ll take to fix up the EC?!

        • l0cal_user

          I suppose it was a bit of a pipe dream to begin with. It wont be long before overpopulation snuffs out any and all economic fixes anyway – it would be nice if there were a safe haven in South Africa for the people who contribute to the economy, but your point is well taken, that haven right now is the WC, but a life boat is useless if the entire ship tries to jump in.

          • Aristophanes

            Sorry to depress you, but I’m also hoping to speak to a wider audience – you’re quite right about those who actually contribute basically sucking the hind t*t, but I suppose that’s inevitable with the bunch of kleptocrats running the country into the ground. And while I have my moans about the abilities of the local DA government here, I still think they’re doing about a hundred times better than anything the ANC could. However, I must say they’re getting seriously up our noses at present with the water crisis – in fact, if you saw Carte Blanche on Sunday you’ll know why. Talk about blaming the very people that can do little more than watch their gardens die and their cars grow weeds in the dirt left off them, when the council employees and councillors should have been utilising the Cape Flats aquifer (as Hermanus are doing with theirs) or planning for desalination plants. But then, neither group are ever the sharpest knives in the drawer wherever in the world you go, so here we sit.

  • Ray Mulder

    Stay away for now there’s no water… And you can’t even wash your car… But you can pay a car wash to wash your car… Kind of makes no sense… Hey?

    • Skerminkel

      Actually it does make sense. Car wash business work a lot more efficient with water. Many people also make a living from these businesses, so you cannot just shut them down.

      • Ray Mulder

        I can wash my car with 2 buckets of water…and who cares about a business when we can potentially run out of water and all die of thirst…so exactly what sense does that make?
        If there is no more water their businesses will die anyway…and to make it even worse…they are the ones contributing to it’s demise…

        • Skerminkel

          Maybe check the regulations, but I think you might well be allowed to wash your car if you only use two buckets.
          Car washes are just one type of industry that uses water. They are just the most obvious ones to casual observers. What about paper and pulp industries, or textile factories, or hotels and restaurants. Do you want to shut them down as well?

          • Thepaxster

            You forgot hairdressers.

          • Ray Mulder

            Well of course! IF Life depended on it, it would be different… But life does not depend on paper, textile factories, hotels or restaurants…. Please use you fine mind to realize that simple reasoning.

          • Skerminkel

            The towns in the Southern Cape went through the same pain in 2010. They had similar regulations. It worked. They identified the large water consumers and worked with them to reduce their usage significantly. It worked. Places like car washes started reusing their water and made all sorts of plans. The towns were down to a few weeks’ water. They survived.
            Cape Town is not there yet. The “fine mind” (thank you) actually works in the field and have some experience of these kind of things.

          • Ray Mulder

            Oh.. And by the way the regulations specifically say you have to go to a commercial car wash…

          • Skerminkel


      • Joe Justice

        “Car wash business work a lot more efficient with water” LOL, You obviously haven’t owned, worked at or even visited a car wash.

        • Skerminkel

          I bow before your superior knowledge of car washing!

  • Tau’ri

    No, please don’t –!
    You can’t stand the wind and hate Table Mountain anyway – and there’s no way in a freezing hell it will be leveled down to build a parking lot.

    • tiredofthis$#!7

      Maybe they will want to reshape Table Mountain into a mine heap. 😀

      • Tau’ri

        Good luck with drilling the granite…

    • Momz0r

      Hahaha!! We are coming there regardless. 😉

      • Tau’ri

        Bring cookies, wine, and hot looking people.
        And the passport – we’re very strict at the border.

        • Momz0r

          hehehe, we have heard about the boerewors curtain and how strict you okes are at the border. But we promise to bring cookies if you supply the wine. 😉

          • Tau’ri


          • Momz0r


      • L BS

        As long as you vote DA ☺

        • Oran Gutan

          Vote for someone else? Do you want to sc*ew the good thing.

        • Momz0r

          I have been voting DA for a very long time, and that will not change! Viva DA!! ☺⏰💯✔

        • Momz0r

          Obviously. Hehe

  • Bob Koekemoer

    The rest of the country is basically hosed. The education system hasn’t given us enough skilled people to sustain the country. Hopefully with the migration to Cape Town there’ll be a critical mass of skills to keep civilisation going there.

  • Cynic Scepticism

    To get away from the ANC and everything they corrupt with their greedy, grubby little fingers. That’s why I moved to the Western Cape three years ago, and I’ve never looked back.

  • Who am i

    And this is why the Cape Republic will become a real issue in the future.

    • Momz0r

      Hey, that is where we arrived from Holland, and a migration back there seems like the natural thing to do.

  • MP3

    pretty naive to think the ANC government won’t come after Cape Town in one way or another to get their grubby hands on your hard earned money.

  • Lord_Santa

    We know. The traffic here has become horrendous as of late. Sigh.

  • Thulani Thulz Kunene

    Yah neh, nice life problems…..

  • slitza

    i discarded any of this as valid when i saw a pie chart with only 8 provinces

    • brz

      I figured out it’s eight because it is in relation to the “missing” one.

  • Oran Gutan

    No wonder people are moving to Western Cape. It’s the last vestige of civilization in Africa. The sad part is that ANC wants lay their grubby hands on it.

  • Erlo Muhl

    My advice is stay put right where you are. Fight the culprits in our country from your base. Let’s work together in S.A. with all races but only targeting on true integrity. Soon we will then turn into a flourishing country with a sound Economy.

  • Erlo Muhl

    Strive for a system where everyone in this country can feel proud of what he is doing. Whether he is person who does: physical work is an Industrialist, a business man, a miner, a farmer, a civil engineer, or whatever. Let us introduce free enterprise, no Bee, none of the Ideas built on what color your skin has, just giving each person a chance of doing his utmost best related to his own ability. In this way you will achieve to have proud South Africans working for the up liftment of all. It sounds too many as wish full thinking, but is the only way of building a proud and prosperous nation.

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