While good progress has been made in South Africa to enable greater access to affordable housing opportunities for citizens, much work remains to be done to ensure that affordable housing gets the prominence and focus it deserves.

More than half of South Africa’s six million residential properties registered in the Deeds Office are worth less than R500 000. Currently, 3.5 million or 58% of these properties fall in the so-called affordable category – properties under R500 000 and indications are that 47% of which are in former townships.

Vuyisile Hlabangane, Managing Principal at GIBB Capital discussed these issues at the Southern African Housing Foundation (SAHF) International Housing Conference this week.

South Africa has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in excess of $467bn and a population of over 51 million people. The affordable segment of the population is 88.14%. It was estimated that between 800 000 and 1.3 million households fall within the affordable housing segment, largely representing individuals or households earning less than R16 500 per month.

The demand for affordable housing has drastically increased, resulting in a growing housing backlog and situations where demand for housing outstrips current supply. The affordable housing market is seen as the fastest growing market in terms of volume and value. Indications are that more affordable homes worth less than R500 000 are being built each year than the more expensive houses.

Since 2004, an average of 70 000 new affordable units, including state-subsidised houses, have been registered at the deeds office per year, compared with 65 000 in the category of houses costing more than R500 000. Although fewer new houses in the above-R500 000 market have been built since 2007, the figures have remained constant in the affordable housing market.

IMIESA November / December

For more on affordable housing and an in-depth interview with Vuyisile Hlabangane, Managing Principal at GIBB Capital, look out for your next edition of IMIESA. For any subscription queries, please contact nicholas@3smedia.co.za