South Africans are ditching live-in domestic workers and swimming pools

South African households are addressing the long-term rising trend in real property values by dramatically reducing certain luxuries – including accommodation for domestic workers, and swimming pools.

Data complied by FNB shows that domestic workers’ quarters, an apartheid era institution, peaked in buildings built from 1955 to 1959, with 63.82% of homes built in those years possessing this characteristic.

For homes built from 2015 to 2017, the percentage is a far lower at 13.02%.

The late-70s/early-80s appears to have been the Golden Era of the swimming pool, with 38.28% of homes built from 1975-79 having pools – although admittedly some of the pools may have been built at a later stage, the lender said.



Thereafter, the long-term declining trend set in, and a mere 8.84% of homes built from 2015 to 2017 have such luxuries, according to the significant sample of homes valued by FNB.

Of homes built in 1980-84, a high of 68.55% of these homes had garages. In the 2015-17 period this was a slightly lower 59.06%, FNB said.

While there has not been that much “economising” on garages, carports have diminished in popularity more significantly. Whereas 38% of the homes built in the 1975-79 period had carports, this declined to a far lower 13% by the 2015 to 2017 period.

The demise of the study in the newly built home has partly to do with the need to economise on space, and partly to do with technological development and the fact that much information has moved from the bookshelf, the filing cabinet and desk, and onto the computer or laptop.

“This has greatly reduced the need for such study space in the modern home,” said FNB property analyst, John Loos.

“It is thus not surprising that the percentage of homes with studies that were built in the 2015 to 2017 period, valued by FNB, was a mere 14.1%, well down from the 27% high reached in the 1980 to 84 period.”

The dining room, too, is becoming gradually more outdated, FNB noted, as 78.8% of the homes valued by bank that were built in 1980-84 contained dining rooms. This was significantly lower at 55% for homes built in the 2015 to 2017 period.


Read: The size of your home in South Africa is shrinking: here’s why

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South Africans are ditching live-in domestic workers and swimming pools