Housing trends are forever changing. While shaggy carpets and pink porcelain bath tubs might have made a property highly sought after in the 1960s, this kind of property would be a tricky sell in 2019.  

“Those who want to purchase real estate in the hopes of flipping and reselling for a profit, or simply to generate a secure stream of rental income, should keep an eye on current market-related trends to ensure that the property they purchase will be in high demand in the year ahead,” explains Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.  

To help buyers choose such a property, Goslett predicts some of the trends that will come to dominate the 2019 real estate market:

Increased Demand for Sectional Titles
“According to Lightstone Property, the South African deeds office recorded a 3.6% drop in the number of freehold properties sold in the fourth quarter of 2018, and a substantial 8.1% increase in the number of sectional title units sold. This reveals a considerable shift in the market away from freehold titles and towards sectional title living. Often more affordable than freehold properties, sectional titles also offer better lock-up-and-go possibilities than freehold properties. With many placing increased value on the ability to travel, and with many appealing new sectional title developments emerging all over the country, it is understandable why these kinds of homes are becoming increasingly popular,” Goslett explains.

Sustainable Eco-Friendly Housing
“The Western Cape’s water crisis last year shone a spotlight onto sustainability and environmentally responsible ways of living. For those less concerned about the effect they’re having on the environment, the ever-rising cost of living and looming threat of national electrical outages provide more prudent reasons for why homes with self-sustainable features are likely to become increasingly attractive in 2019,” Goslett predicts.

Homes with Rental or Sharing Potential
“Another trend which has been emerging is the growing demand for homes that are able to accommodate beyond just the nuclear family unit. With property prices shifting beyond the reach of entry-level buyers and in favour of the middle-income buyer, many are choosing to live with family members or to sub-let rooms in order to cover the rent or the bond repayment amounts. Two- or three-bedroom homes with en-suite bathrooms and possibly separate entry points or garden cottages should therefore do well in the 2019 market,” Goslett foresees.

However, Goslett adds that consulting with a reputable real estate professional will still be the surest way of purchasing a property with solid investment potential. “It is part of a real estate professional’s job to know which suburbs are performing well and which are better avoided in the current market. Investors who work through a real estate agent are therefore likely to ensure higher returns than those who purchase without the advice of an expert in the industry,” Goslett concludes.  

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