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TPN Vacancy Survey
South Africa - Tenant Profile Network
Vacancy rates viewed from a national perspective increased marginally

Looking at rental property vacancies from a national perspective, the beginning of this year saw a marginal quarter-on-quarter increase from 5.4% in 2017 Q4 to 5.9% in 2018 Q1.

With the South African Reserve Bank lowering the repo rate by 25 basis points in March this year, one might have expected slightly less pressure on landlords to apply rental escalations. However, there is also the impact of the VAT hike to be considered, which will filter through to landlords and tenants alike, although at this stage one can only speculate as to what the net effect will be on the rental market. Landlords will be paying more for maintenance, upkeep and levies, while tenants will be under increased financial pressure all round, making it more difficult to absorb an escalation in rental payments.
Tenant Profile Network

The trend is to tiny, but buildings stay big
South Africa - IolProperty
The tendency towards smaller - and even micro - homes is a growing trend in South Africa, but new figures from Stats SA disclose the private sector is planning to build more bigger homes than small in the coming months.

According to the preliminary report, large South African municipalities passed R19.7 billion worth of private residential building plans in the first three months of this year, including the building of dwelling houses - classified as "free-standing, complete structures on separate stands or self-contained dwelling units on the same premises as existing residences", townhouses, flats, and additions and alterations.

Of these approved plans, 8 795 are for dwelling houses amounting to R7.78bn, and 6 548 for flats and/or townhouses to the value of R4.37bn.

When breaking them up by property size, it is interesting to note although the trend towards smaller properties is gaining momentum - both here and globally - larger municipalities in the Western Cape have approved plans for 1 314 dwelling houses bigger than 80sqm - an average of 229sqm. This translates to an 11.7% increase compared to the first three months of last year.

Housing market transaction volume growth
South Africa - FNB
Estimated housing market transaction volume growth started 2018 improved on 2017 rates, but disappointing economic growth at the start of 2017, along with what FNB’s Estate Agent Survey was saying late last year, suggests that transaction growth may get weaker before it gets better in 2018.

Using deeds data for transactions by individuals (“natural persons”) as a proxy for residential transaction trends, we see that 2018 got off to a better start in terms of transaction growth than did 2017.

Total transactions registered by individuals rose by 12.8% year-on-year for the 3 months to February 2018 (we use a 3-month moving average for smoothing purposes), while the volume of transactions on which a bond was registered also grew, albeit by a lesser 6.8% year-on-year for the same 3 months.

Over 100,000 PEXA Exchange transactions completed in May
Australia - PEXA
Melbourne, 04 June 2018 – Digital property transactions are experiencing exponential growth as Property Exchange Australia (PEXA) announced that last month over 100,000 transactions had been completed on the platform, a 25% jump from the month prior. In April the company also announced that over 1 million transactions were settled digitally on the PEXA platform.

Digital transactions have grown from strength to strength with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 202% (FY2014 to May2018). Much of this growth has occurred over the past year, with PEXA’s May 2018 transfer transactions more than nine times higher than for the same period the year prior, a positive indication of the momentum PEXA and its network is driving on the path to 100% digital.

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