A decade ago, a survey by the Reader’s Digest magazine showed that 65% of South African consumers were in favour of home ownership, and the latest statistics show that nothing much has changed since then – except the size of the population.
So says Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond*, SA’s leading bond originator, who notes: “The latest homeowner sentiment survey conducted by Absa shows that a comparable 67% of SA consumers are currently positive about the benefits of owning a home rather than renting one. But the population of SA has increased from 49,5m to 56,5m over the past 10 years, so the actual number of people in favour of home ownership is now considerably higher than it was then.
“Meanwhile the most recent General Household Survey (GHS) report released by StatsSA shows that only about 53,5% of SA households actually live in their own homes (Including those who live in traditional rural homes). Another 8,8% of households are partial owners, while 24,7% are tenants in formal homes and 13% live in informal structures.”
There is thus a huge opportunity, he says, for everyone involved in the country’s real estate industry, including agents, banks, developers and originators as well as the Dept of Human Settlements and municipalities, to close the gap between those who own a home and those who would like to own one.
“Given that there are currently around 16,2m households in SA, these stats show that there are currently at least 2m of them that would like to own a home but don’t yet. And enabling them to do so has the potential not only to add trillions of rand directly to the fiscus, but also to create literally millions of jobs - and a stream of ongoing revenue.”