At the start of 2018, some 7.4% of home sales in South Africa were due to owners emigrating – up from 2% of total home selling in 2013, the latest FNB property survey among estate agents shows.
Only 6% of those owning the most expensive homes (average house price: R3.53 million) emigrated, compared to 8.9% in the lower bracket (average house price: R2.81 million).
The percentage of home sales due to emigration in the first quarter was unchanged from the end of 2017.
Emigration-related home-selling started to rise in 2014 and is still somewhat “elevated”, says John Loos, household and property sector strategist at FNB.
He expects a decline in emigration-related selling in the quarters to come.
This is thanks to a Ramaphoria-related improvement in general sentiment in South Africa. In addition, the rand has also been relatively strong.
But Loos does not expect emigration to decline to the low levels of 2013.
“Although sentiment appears to be greatly improved in SA early in 2018, economic performance of the country plays a key role in emigration levels, with many highly-skilled labour force participants assessing local economic opportunities relative to those abroad when making their decisions. And while we anticipate a mildly improved real economic growth rate of 1.8% in 2018 (compared to 1.3% in 2017), such a growth rate remains weak.”