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Trends in real estate include emigration, estate living and downsizing

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The improvement to Western Cape’s dam levels could mean the water issue may not be a problem for the market and locals next year, although the populace need to continue being waterwise.

Greeff’s Mike Greeff says water-wise gardens will continue to be the trend next year and hold buyer appeal, as will properties with boreholes and well points. 

“Insecurity around electricity supply will continue and off-the-grid solar PV systems are likely to become more widespread and sought-after by buyers.” In addition, relatively high rates of emigration this year and the multi-generational living trend – due to rising living costs, security and convenience – were big ones and will continue in the coming year, says Knight Frank’s Richard Hardie.

“An increase in demand for secure estate living and that lifestyle – the peace of mind, the comfort, the lockup-and-go convenience, and the community – is another current trend.”

Re/Max’s Adrian Goslett agrees there has been a continued move towards smaller properties in secure environments. Larger homes are taking considerably longer to sell than in the past.

Another 2019 trend was fewer people selling to upgrade their homes, notes Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Yael Geffen, although many sold to downgrade in a bid to decrease expenses. There was also a spike in emigration.

“It would be preferable if these two trends didn’t continue into 2020, but it is likely they will.” Geffen says multi-generational living is on the increase due to high property prices, rising consumer inflation and stagnant salaries, as well as the dearth of affordable retirement accommodation.

In 2019, the banks were “very keen” to lend so mortgages have been “very available” to the market, says Dogon’s Rob Stefanutto. Markets such as the southern suburbs are doing well as they offer great value.

“The year showed good property holds its value.” Greeff says: “The market shifted from being not particularly one way or the other into a definite buyers’ market this year.”

Moving into 2020, the experts say sellers need to be educated about pricing their properties correctly in order to sell.

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