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23 November 2017

Residential building statistics
South Africa - Absa
Residential building activity contracted in the first three quarters of 2017

The first three quarters of 2017 saw building activity in the South African market for new private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes) contracting in both the planning and construction phases compared with the corresponding period last year, based on data released by Statistics South Africa.

The number of building plans approved for new housing was down by a marginal 0,3% year-on-year (y/y), or just 126 plans, to a total of 41 084 plans in the 9-month period up to September this year. Plans approved in the segment of houses smaller than 80m² increased by 8,2% y/y in January to September, but the segments for houses equal to or larger than 80m² and flats and townhouses recorded a drop of 4,4% y/y and 4,2% y/y respectively in the number of plans approved in the nine months up to September.

The volume of new housing units reported as being completed dropped by 2,4% y/y, or 725 units, to a total of 28 931 units in January to September. The segment for houses of 80m² and larger showed a significant contraction of 19,3% y/y, or 1 767 units, to 7 409 units over this period. This contributed to the total building area of homes completed in this category declining by 11,1% y/y. The other two categories of housing showed combined positive growth of 5,1% y/y in the number of new housing units built over the 9-month period.
Building statistics Sept 2017

Sectional Title sellers need additional certificates
South Africa - Chas Everitt
In terms of the Occupational Health & Safety Act, all home owners are supposed to have a valid Electrical Certificate of Compliance (ECOC) - and must certainly be able to produce one when selling their property, or the transfer to a new owner will not be able to be registered.

More recently, it has also become compulsory for home owners to hold compliance certificates for any electric fence or gas installations on their properties, while in the Western Cape, a by-law requires a water installation certificate to be provided to the local authority when selling a property, before the owner can obtain the municipal clearance certificate required for transfer.

However, says Berry Everitt of Chas Everitt, while all of these certificate requirements apply to Sectional Title (ST) properties as well as freehold properties, the ST home owner is actually only responsible for compliance within his or her section.

"The body corporate, represented by the trustees, is responsible for ensuring the compliance of any relevant installations on the common property, such as security lighting, gate motors, electric fences and any external taps, water pipes and irrigation systems, and for obtaining the necessary compliance certificates.
Sectional Title sellers need certificates

City of Cape Town House Price indices
South Africa - FNB
The most expensive markets, which include the City Bowl and directly adjacent sub-regions all close to Table Mountain, have seen further slowing in house price growth as affordability challenges mount

Although the City of Cape Town has seen some mild slowing in average house price growth over the past 5 quarters, at 11.4% year-on-year this market remains very strong. Slowing house price growth in the 3rd quarter of 2017 has taken place in 6 of 12 regions of the City.

The City of Cape Town’s housing market has been a lot stronger than other South Africa major regions in recent years, and we believe that mounting home affordability challenges have recently been starting to take their toll on, especially, the most expensive sub-regions in and near to the City Bowl. These markets within close proximity to the City Bowl have been sought after in recent years as the broader city commuter population increasingly battles traffic congestion to and from the City Bowl. These sub-regions have also been highly sought after by foreign buyers, investors, and a significant number of affluent up-country migrants moving to the popular Western Cape region.
City of Cape Town House Price indices

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