More South Africans are selling their home to leave the country

A new housing survey shows that South Africans are increasingly selling up their homes to emigrate overseas.

Speaking to talk radio station 702  on Tuesday, FNB property specialist John Loos said that approximately 7.2% of total home sellers in South Africa were selling up with plans to emigrate, with this number having steadily increased from 2% in 2013.

While the home sellers were not asked for specific reasons as to why they were choosing to emigrate, Loos said it was mostly likely due to the deteriorating growth in the economy.

“The weak rand makes earning in any other hard currency that much more attractive, and I think that can lead to a skills drain,” he said.

“Anyone who tries to tell you that a weak rand is good for the economy is dreaming, it contributes to your skill base erosion.”

“The general tax situation over the last couple of years is that government finances are deteriorating which means they are looking for more ways to make up the revenue shortfall.

“We have seen it in the lack of adjustment for bracket creep in personal tax, and of course we have also seen it with municipal rates and tariffs have been climbing significantly faster that inflation – most notably in electricity,” Loos said.

In a report earlier this year, Loos said that the post-2009 economic recovery brought about “happier times” in South Africa, resulting in the estimated emigration-related selling percentage falling down to 2% by the end of 2013.

Thereafter, however, it resumed a gradual rise through 2014 to 2016, reaching a higher, though still moderate (by 2008 standards) 5.8% by the fourth quarter of 2016.

FNB’s data backs up the recent claims from emigration consultancies of a rise in the number of South Africans requesting information on their available options to move abroad following the recent credit downgrades by ratings agencies, and the potential effects of junk status.

Read: Landmark case makes it easier for some SA families to emigrate to the UK

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More South Africans are selling their home to leave the country