Black buyer numbers up
THE growth in the number of black buyers has often been quoted by property pundits as a factor contributing to the continued buoyancy of the residential property market. But quantifying the actual number of black buyers is difficult.

And unsurprisingly, according to anecdotal evidence, Gauteng is the province which has the most black buyers.

First National Bank’s (FNB’s) research team, which puts together the bank’s quarterly Property Barometer, says black buyers make up 25% of residential property buyers nationally. Three years ago one in every five buyers was black.

The research team canvasses 150 property professionals every quarter and says estate agents are telling them that one in every four prospective buyers is black. In Gauteng, that figure rises to one in three.

It says the black middle class tends to move into more reasonably priced areas where properties cost up to R500000.

Samuel Seeff, chairman of real estate group Seeff Properties, says he does not believe black buyers make up as much as 25% around the country. He believes that in Gauteng one in five buyers is black. In other parts of the country it is closer to the 10% mark.

“The real emerging black market is showing itself in the Gauteng region because Gauteng is the economic hub of SA.”

Seeff says the rest of the country still needs to show the same level of growth.

“I do believe the trend of black buyers entering the market is going to increase and will no doubt settle at figures far in excess of where we are now.”

Seeff Properties is seeing “more and more black buyers” visiting show houses, putting in offers, negotiating and ultimately buying residential property.

“Five years ago I would say black buyers made up less than 5% of the market around the country. There has been significant growth in black buyers.” Seeff says the emerging black middle class is a factor contributing to the continued buoyancy of the residential property market.

Ronald Ennik, MD of Pam Golding Properties in Gauteng, says he believes the “answer lies somewhere” between what Seeff Properties and FNB state.

“I think the national figure is probably in the region of 15% and in Gauteng it varies between 10% and 50% according to specific areas.”

In the broad band of the northern areas of Sandton, and including Midrand, the percentage of black buyers can be above 30% and “even touch” 50% in some areas.

Ennik says the growth of property ownership from the emerging middle class has been slower than Pam Golding anticipated, “but I believe that it’s going to continue increasing over the next few years”.

Article by: Nick Wilson - www.businessday.co.za