SA Property Market Outlook in 2024

In South Africa, like the rest of the world, the property market can be measured by sentiment and data. And when it comes to sentiment, who better to ask than 200 estate agents who live and breathe the property mood every day?

This is exactly what Lightstone, leading property data experts, did in their Annual Estate Agent Survey. In short, the outcome is that the prognosis for the residential property market in 2024 is looking good.

But why? And if sentiment is not enough for you, what does the data say? What are the trends and where are the investment opportunities?

Keep reading, it’s all in here.

Long-term property investment still hard to beat

The proof that property investment, over the long term, is a worthy performer is undisputed, but what can we expect from 2024? After a less-than-stellar result in 2023, where fewer than 40% of the agents surveyed, reported that they met their volume and sales targets, the outlook for 2024 is optimistic with 73% of them expecting to meet their targets, even in the light of economic and political uncertainty.

For South Africa, it is interesting to note that political tension in other parts of the world, as well as the continued recovery of the tourism sector and increase in young buyers, all bode well for the local market.

A 2023 audit

Looking back at 2023, the survey suggests that while certain areas saw excellent returns, depleting sales values, in general, were driven down by a combination of over-priced stock, a shortage of new development and of course, failing municipalities and loadshedding.

So, what did buyers want? Unsurprisingly, the results of the survey were:





lifestyle and amenities


office space at home


alternative energy sources


buy-to-rent investments

 Reasons for selling in 2023 were reassuring with semigration (21%) and downscaling for lifestyle change (21%) as the main drivers followed by downscaling for financial difficulty (17%) and emigration (14%).

The impact of possible interest rate hikes in 2024: The agent’s view

Interestingly, 41% of estate agents said that rising interest rates would have no impact on their targets. More than 50% of agents believe that any further hikes will push house rental prices up and positively drive the buy-to-let investment market.

Now, what does the data say?

First, it is worth explaining that the methodology behind Lightstone’s monthly House Price Index report is based on widely-accepted statistical principles in real estate and property finance. Unlike the general 'average house price' approach, Lightstone uses a 'repeat sales' methodology. This means that inflation and trends are derived from properties that have transacted multiple times in a specific period, minimising the impact of the mix of transacting properties. Data is analysed from official sources like the Deeds Office registry and Surveyor General which focus on residential property transfers.

(Source: Lightstone)

Lightstone’s latest House Price Index: December 2023

In South Africa, December 2023 statistics reveal that the annual increase in house prices has dropped to 2.52% in recent months. Interestingly, this decline, which is affecting the overall average, is mainly influenced by the High-Value segment, which is at 1.7%, and the Luxury Segment, which is at 2.4%. On the other hand, the Low-Value segment has consistently shown growth throughout 2023, with an annual property inflation of 18.2%. In comparison, the Mid Value segment has a lower increase at 3.9%. So, while the overall market is experiencing a slowdown, properties in the Low-Value segment continue to see significant price growth.

Coast vs non-coast properties

Unsurprisingly, the latest available data shows that house prices increased by 5.9% along the coast versus 1.7% in non-coastal areas during September 2023.

Municipal results

During the same period (September 2023) municipal house price growth ranked as follows:


City of Cape Town


City of Johannesburg


City of Tshwane







According to Hayley Ivins-Downes, Head of Digital at Lightstone, for South Africa's housing market to reach its full potential, it requires favourable political and economic conditions. In addition, the relatively low interest rates observed in 2021, as indicated by the results below, provide a glimpse of the market’s potential performance.

Provincial results




Compared to 2021

Nelson Mandela Bay



Eastern Cape



Free State



Gauteng Province



KwaZulu Natal









North West Province



Northern Cape



Western Cape



Source: Lightstone

Sectional title vs freehold



December 2023







Sectional Title





According to Ivins-Downes in a recent Bizcommunity comment, apart from South Africa’s unique challenges, residential house prices have drifted since the 2008 global financial crisis, resulting in around 350,000 annual sales compared to nearly 600,000 in 2003/4.

She said that although sales volumes are not thriving, there is significant growth potential, especially in the higher-end market which can be seen by the impact of low-interest rates in 2021 where the market saw a notable increase in higher-valued bonds and properties, thus pushing the average transaction value above R1 million.

A snapshot of the current R6 trillion residential market

In conclusion, Ivins-Downes said that in looking at a snapshot of the market, South Africa's three major provinces (Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, and the Western Cape) contribute to 80% of the residential property market value and almost 66% of the volume.

Out of 8.4 million properties, 84% are residential, collectively valued at R6 trillion. Estates make up 6.7% of volumes but contribute to 18.7% of value, while sectional schemes constitute nearly 13% of volumes and 15% of value and almost half (47%) of the market's R6.9 trillion value is represented by actively bonded properties.

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Any opinions, news, research, reports, analyses, prices, or other information contained within this research is provided by an employee of EasyEquities an authorised FSP (FSP no 22588) as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice for the purposes of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002. First World Trader (Pty) Ltd t/a EasyEquities (“EasyEquities”) does not warrant the correctness, accuracy, timeliness, reliability or completeness of any information (i) contained within this research and (ii) received from third party data providers. You must rely solely upon your own judgment in all aspects of your investment and/or trading decisions and all investments and/or trades are made at your own risk. EasyEquities (including any of their employees) will not accept any liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage, including without limitation, any loss of profit, which may arise directly or indirectly from use of or reliance on the market commentary. The content contained within is subject to change at any time without notice.

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