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Gauteng Semigration

The Gauteng exodus in perspective

Clever Joburg developers should make the most of semigration trends

By Esther de Villiers

, |

The Gauteng exodus in perspective

Clever Joburg developers should make the most of semigration trends

By Esther de Villiers

, |

3 min read

There is a substantial hike – from 39% in 2019 to 43% in 2021 – in the number of homeowners leaving Gauteng.

Can Johannesburg benefit from this trend, and which developments fit the bill for those who stay behind?

Cape and KZN not only options

A recent presentation by Lightstone Property Solutions reveals that Gauteng residents and semigrants from other South African provinces favour the Western Cape when buying new property, with Kwazulu-Natal a close second.

The trend of swapping metropolitan areas for smaller or larger towns can be attributed to “a move away from crime-and-grime toward a slower, safer, quality lifestyle,” according to Lightstone.

Are there still many secure and clean estate living options available up north, and will it cost consumers less to live in Joburg when comparing similar investments elsewhere in South Africa?

Decent value still offered in Egoli

Stefan Botha, director of Rainmaker Marketing, confirms that they are keeping a close eye on post-Covid trends, especially concerning those who move away from ‘traditional areas’ within the semigration perspective.

‘There is big talk about the Cape as a top semigration destination, but KZN definitely boasts several options in terms of estate developments that we are involved with. We have seen a massive influx – between 10% and 20% – of buyers from Gauteng.

‘They are prioritising lifestyle and the ability to either be going into an active retirement phase, or to work remotely while being able to commute to Joburg and other areas.’

When it comes to the Western Cape, Botha says these areas are often outside of the Mother City, such as Stellenbosch, Paarl, Mossel Bay, and George.

‘In terms of price and affordability, the semigration trend is heavily driven by people looking for a different style and quality of life, but we also know of several areas in Gauteng that offers a good lifestyle as well as decent value.’

Where are the main demands?

Lightstone claims that 46% of semigrants are more likely to move to a new property of greater value and smaller size; 34% will downgrade size/value; and 20% will upgrade size and downgrade value.

‘Property prices in the Western Cape and north coast of KZN are always on the rise, and people have continued to see capital appreciation. As a result, we definitely note that people are prepared to compromise on size in return for security and amenities within an estate environment.

‘The trend is definitely for developers to create smaller, more compact homes in top structure packages by providing an abundance of facilities to try and match the price points of what people are currently selling for, wherever they are living.’

But, says Botha, semigration trends do not necessarily affect just the price: people are increasingly moving from ‘traditional areas’ into newer, faster developing neighbourhoods that are closer to facilities and schools.

Across the age spectrum

It is claimed that most people moving from Gauteng are aged 49-64, and Botha confirms that the experience of Rainmaker Marketing points to movement of everyone from younger families to retirees.

‘Interestingly, it’s not just older investors that are on the move. We are seeing semigration patterns across the market, according to attractions offered by other provinces.

‘Having said that, there are still investment opportunities within Gauteng that continue to flourish,’ he states, adding that HQ Sandton and The Mix Waterfall are two examples of developers and investors alike that are benefiting from not having joined the exodus.

‘Developers in Joburg are seeing the value of investing into prime business districts like Sandton, Midrand or Waterfall, and understanding that, post Covid, a lot of people have to go back to work. There is a huge aspiration for people to live close to where they work, and close to where they play.

‘That investor market is very strung up on its success rate – properties like those mentioned above really underpin this trend: people understand the value of investing in prime locations, but obviously a lot of the marginal areas will see a decline.’

Find out more

HQ Sandton offers apartments from R990,000 in ‘the heart of Africa’s richest square mile’. The Mix Waterfall in Waterfall City, Midrand, invites investors to ‘be on top of it all from R999,000’. Check out and for details.

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