The average age of South African home buyers is increasing – from 40 years in December 2008, to older than 44 in April this year. In 1980, the average buyer was only 38 years old.
This is according to new data released by FNB which look at the estimated average age of all South African home buyers (first-timers included).
The percentage of property buyers younger than 30 has fallen from more than 22% in 1980 to 12.4% in 2018. As recently as 2007, almost a fifth of home buyers were under the age of 30%.
Even thirtysomething home buyers have seen a sharp decline – from 37.6% in 2007 to under 30% this year.
Part of this is perhaps explained by weak economic times in recent years, which limits new job creation and thus the pace at which young working age people enter the labour market and therefor the property market, says John Loos, household and property sector strategist at FNB.
"Younger buyers on average are more sensitive to economic and interest rate shocks."
At the other end of the age spectrum, fiftysomethings now represent almost a fifth of all sales – compared to only 12% in 1980. The percentage of buyers between 60 and 69 years increased from 5% to 10%.
The percentage of property buyers older than 70 years has increased by 400% - to almost 4%.