“The province-by-province analysis is in comparison to the national average of eight weeks, which remains unchanged from Q4 of 2022,” says Smee.
These findings are based on responses to the Q1 2022 Estate Agents Survey by FNB which looked at market activity across the provinces and found that – unsurprisingly given the surge of semigration to the province – the Western Cape indicated the most favourable conditions for selling in the country with the average time a property spent on the market at six weeks and three days.
“It’s clear that the Western Cape is going to lead the country in terms of demand and a competitive residential property market for some time to come,” says Smee. “The province has seen a surge in people from other parts of the country moving in search of the excellent quality-of-life that the Cape offers. The popularity is reflected in the province’s higher property prices and lower rental vacancy rates.”
KwaZulu-Natal followed closely behind the Western Cape with the average time spent on the market at six weeks and four days. Gauteng, the country’s most populated province, recorded the longest time at eight weeks and six days.
Smee comments that one trend common across all provinces is that well-priced priced homes sell the fastest. “By price segment, homes within the R1.3m to R2.6m bracket were snapped up the fastest - with the average time spent on the market at six weeks and four days.”
Looking to property price growth, the Lightstone Residential Property Index reveals that the national year-on-year house price inflation (growth) is at 4.51%, having decreased consistently since early 2021. Here, too, there is a marked difference in property price inflation across provinces:
“It’s important to note that these statistics don’t mean that it’s suddenly cheaper to buy a home in Camps Bay than it is to buy a home in Kimberly,” says Smee. “The most expensive properties in South Africa are still primarily located in the coastal provinces, and Lightstone’s inflation figures are primarily boosted by high rates of activity in what they classify as the ‘low value segment’ (less than R250,000).”
The strong performance of affordably priced homes and inflation growth in the inland provinces may bring some relief to sellers. “While houses in the Western Cape or KwaZulu-Natal are more likely to sell faster than similarly priced properties in other provinces, it is still price and not geography that is the number one determining factor in how fast a home will sell,” explains Smee.
In addition to pricing your home carefully, Smee shares other steps that buyers should take to decrease the amount of time on the market: