THE CHANGING FACE OF BLACK property ownership
Twenty years into democracy finally sees some authentic movement in black property ownership f igures. While the first 10 years following democracy lacked a significant shift in ownership patterns among blacks, recent years have seen a decidedly more positive shift in this trend, specifically in the luxury market.
Yet, black ownership is still significantly skewed relative to population numbers. We must not forget that South Africa has a population of 51.8m, with 79% making up the black population. Sixty-two percent of South Africans reside in urban areas and of these, 35% reside in cities with populations of over 1m. So, with urban population in SubSaharan Africa growing at 3.9%, it is inevit-able that property ownership in these areas will grow. But to what extent has this growth been affected by property transformation?
Asked about the property transformation issue, John Loos, property analyst for FNB, is pragmatic. “The transformation of property ownership is largely reliant on, and driven by, economic growth and labour market solutions, and a sustainable way to promote home ownership is through job creation.” While home ownership on a per capita income and property value basis is still skewed towards the white group, Loos says there has been vast growth in unit numbers (including low-cost housing) in the black sector.
Paul-Roux de Kock, analytics director for Lightstone, also points to economic transformation aiding property ownership, citing the boom years as the period when property transformation was accelerated. With race/ ethnicity still somewhat of a prickly issue, Lightstone uses analytical techniques to gauge the ethnic groups of property owners in order to track the progress of transformation in the residential property sector. Its findings reveal that the proportion of residential property owners who would previously have been classified as black increased from 39% to 43% over the past decade while the proportion of white ownership decreased from 45% to 40%. The proportion of owners previously classified as coloured increased slightly from 10% to 11% and the Asian group remained proportionally stable at 6%.
To better understand property transformation, one has to look beyond the RDP sector and traditional township areas. Lightstone f igures reveal that while Limpopo is still the province with the highest proportion of black owners in the mid-value plus property sector (R250 000 and above values), it is the Northern Cape and