Not much is going right in South Africa but the Western Cape is bucking the trend boasting solid residential and industrial real estate trends. Residential is buoyed by “semigration” or the exodus of Gauteng (i.e., Johannesburg) residents to coastal regions in the Western Cape. Cape Town’s industrial sector rents grew by 6% in Q4 of 2023. The region is attractive for industrial development because of its strategic location, good governance, and stable supply of industrial supplied electricity. The Red Sea tumult is a win for Cape Town.
The Western Cape property market continues to outperform, driven by the ongoing trend of "semigration" from Gauteng to coastal regions, particularly in the Western Cape. This phenomenon is reshaping South Africa's real estate landscape, with a notable impact on housing units in picturesque seaside towns. South African property market as a whole remains in a prolonged buyers' market due to high interest rates, diminishing buying power, and escalating living costs.
The exodus from Gauteng to coastal regions, driven by the pursuit of enhanced services, safety, and security, is reshaping the Western Cape's real estate landscape. Coastal towns like Knysna and Plettenberg Bay are experiencing increased demand, leading to a scarcity of housing units. This migration trend is expected to exert sustained pressure on coastal property markets in the coming year. Building plans for residential developments in the Western Cape surged by 22.2% year on year. Particularly watch the Western Cape, where nine of South Africa's ten most expensive suburbs are located.
Cape Town's industrial property market stands out as a consistent performer, recording a 6% nominal rental growth in the fourth quarter of 2023. The city's strategic location, well-maintained infrastructure, and stable electricity supply contribute to its appeal for businesses, driving demand for industrial properties.
The semigration phenomenon continues to shape the Western Cape property market, positioning coastal regions as hotspots for real estate investment. As South Africa falters due to mismanagement, at least Cape Town's residential and industrial sectors are showing promise. Investors considering South Africa's real estate market should be looking at these sectors for development and investment opportunities.