Small is getting bigger

The way the world works was already evolving before Covid-19 disrupted life so dramatically. But over the past year, change has accelerated exponentially to meet the radically changed circumstances – and central to the change has been location: all who can work remotely have been doing so.

And it has led many to question whether they need to return to the office as life begins to return to “normal”.

We have seen the world over people heading out of cities to smaller towns on the periphery or even further away, where a slower, safer lifestyle for the family has become more important than access to an office.

In South Africa, our data shows that nearly 15% of homeowners who sold and bought homes in the three years to 2020 have moved from cities to smaller towns. In Movers and Shakers we find that most of those in the Western Cape and KZN opting for a quieter life have remained in the province, but in the case of Gauteng, they are moving all over the country.

 

And Mossel Bay on the southern Cape coast is proving to be a beneficiary of this shift in mindset. In Consistent growth in Mossel Bay residential property prices, we discover the average purchase price of residential property in the picturesque town has been rising steadily over the past ten years – and Covid-19’s disruption of social and economic life did not stop the progress.

It is too early to tell just how popular the drift to smaller towns will become. But we do know that things are unlikely to ever return to what was considered “normal”.

 

Movers and shakers

Most homeowners move to and from the Big 3 provinces

Nearly 84,000 homeowners sold and bought elsewhere between 2018 and 2020 – with 76% moving from city to city, 14% relocating from a city to a smaller town while 10% headed the other way.

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Consistent growth
in Mossel Bay residential property prices

Estates outstrip sectional title in popularity; demand from out-of-towners continued in 2020; town popular with mature citizens

The average purchase price of residential property in Mossel Bay has been rising steadily over the past ten years – and Covid-19’s disruption of social and economic life did not stop the progress.

Read more

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