The global financial crisis shocked our local economy as it did throughout the world and in the 3rd quarter of 2008 selling in order to emigrate as a percentage of total residential sales was estimated to be 20%.
Of course there is not a measurement to determine how many of these emigrants may have returned to South Africa when faced with poor work and economic prospects in their destinations of choice.
The figures since 2008 do however show a steady decline in the number of people selling in order to emigrate, with a low point of 2% reached at the end of 2013. Since then we have seen a gradual increase to its current estimate of 5,8% of total residential sales as at the 4th quarter of 2016.
A key to explain this rise in emigration related selling is proposed by FNB to relate to the deterioration in the Consumer Confidence Index especially after the 2nd quarter of 2014 when a sharp drop started to become evident. This also coincided with our interest rate hiking cycle, which may well have added to the sentiment influencing decisions by households to emigrate. It is often stated that one of the main constraining factors for our emigration figures relates to the poor economic conditions elsewhere. Europe has not looked particularly attractive and the relative cost of Australia has made people think twice about packing for Perth.
In order to get an idea of emigration selling by the major metro regions FNB looked at the last two quarters of 2016 and averaged the figures provided. Surprisingly their survey showed that across the main metros of Johannesburg, Tshwane, Cape Town and Ethekwini the figures are similar and range from a low of 4,7% for Ethekwini to a high of 5,5% for Cape Town. Mandela Bay as a metro showed emigration selling to be the highest at 7,2% and a reason provided has been the relative poor performance of the PE regional economy compared to the larger metro regions.
When we consider the semi-gration figures provided by FNB some interesting regional trends of migration appear. The semi-gration figures as a whole range between 8% to 10% with the average for the final 2 quarters of 2016 being 8,3%. If we look at the main metro areas and the number of sellers selling in order to relocated away from the area then Cape Town shows the lowest estimate at 3%.
On the other side of the spectrum is the Mandela Bay Metro with 17,7% of its sellers moving away. This outlier can be explained by the relatively poor economic performance of the region. Of the remaining three large metros, Johannesburg showed a figure of 10% of the sellers moving away, Tshwane recorded 7,4% and our local Ethekwini metro showed 6,9%. I wish they would measure and publish the figures for Kwadukuza as I would estimate that far fewer sellers, sell in order to move away from the greater Ballito area.
For further information and an interactive analysis of this article follow my blog: andreaswassenaar.blogspot.com.
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