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Property Trends In South African Retirement Property Market

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Over the last two decades the property options for the retirement property industry has evolved from limited options to now include an array of lifestyle estate options, sectional title or lock-up-and-go as well as the upmarket coastal home.

Lightstone did a study on trends in the retirement property market. The results showed that in the last decade most property transfers were conducted in Gauteng with the most transactions (2883) in 2013 and the Western Cape showing a slight peak in 2017. According to Esteani Marx, Head of Real Estate at Lightstone, the trend of Gauteng dominating in the most collective transfers is not surprising as the most property transactions across demographics and value bands transpire in this province.

However, the view from the last decade is rather different when you look at the retirement category says Marx. Gauteng had the higher transfers in value in 2010 and remained the front runner for the next six years, but from 2015 transactions in the higher value bands started to climb in the Western Cape and continued to do so until late in 2019. By 2018 the variance in value between Western Cape and its closest competitor, Gauteng was more than R1 million and compared to Kwazulu-Natal over R2 million. According to Marx, the property market in the Western Cape has consistently been higher in value vs volume over the last several years.

"Five of the top ten most popular estates for the 60+ market in terms of volume are in the Western Cape making the Mother City the most attractive retirement destination with 754 transactions since 2018", says Marx. Surprisingly, the top three most popular estates in the retiree age bracket (over 60) in terms of volume growth are not in the Western Cape. Analysis indicates that Waterfront Residential Estate in Bela Bela in Limpopo province had the highest volume growth since 2018 with 320 transactions, followed by Euphoria Golf Estate located in Modimolle with 314 transactions and thirdly, Urban Ridge South Retirement Estate, also based in Midrand, with 232 transactions.

In the Western Cape estate living is the most popular property type in contrast to Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal where sectional title is the most sought-after option, and a much smaller percentage of transactions occur within estates. As indicated in the below graph, Marx notes that freehold properties, which are usually the most popular choice across age and income groups is far less attractive to this age group with a fractional volume compared to the other two options.

The general retirement age has always been 60+, however many individuals in this age bracket are still economically active. They are opting for developments like retirement villages and estates that offer them the opportunity to live an active lifestyle but in a secure and well-kept environment. In recognition of this developers are responding with the growing range of lifestyle developments seen today.

Author Property Professional / Lightstone
Published 28 Sep 2020 / Views -
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