"Black Diamonds" home ownership slowed by recession

Over 50 000 former township and lower income bracket residents are moving annually into what were formerly exclusively white areas and, although this process has been slowed by the recession, it still represents one of the most fundamental changes ever seen in South African society, says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties.

“This is as radical a transformation as the overnight proliferation of urban dwellings in the diamond and gold rushes of the second half of the 19th Century,” said Clarke.

Quoting Jabulani Sikhakhane of “Business Day” and CBO (the Confederation of Black Organisations), Clarke said that the challenge is now to convert “black diamonds” (the emerging black class currently earning R100 000 to R300 000 per annum) into homeowners rather than tenants.

“Several recent surveys have shown, firstly, that our emerging black diamonds have been enthusiastic spenders and accumulators of credit on luxury items like cars, clothes and entertainment rather than on first homes. This, incidentally, is exactly what has happened recently among the younger people of West Europe, France and Britain – but their governments are trying hard to reverse the trend.

“Secondly, it is now clear that the emerging black middle class has not been exempt from the job losses caused by the recession and, indeed, have often been the first to feel the impact of the 475 000 cutbacks implemented since late 2008.”

In the circumstances, said Clarke, the banks’ apparent willingness to give 100% loans to the emerging middle class is a timely and welcome move. It is likely, he said, to revive what two years ago was becoming a strong demand for home ownership and help the State foster the all-important savings culture which is crucial to the establishment of a stable society and to the economy.

Article from: www.rawsonproperties.com