This increase is being driven by apartments and townhouses.
Year-on-year growth in the volume of building activity in the planning phase of the South African market for new housing remained in the low single digits in the first two months of 2016, according to Absa’s latest Residential Building Statistics report.
The volume of activity in the construction phase of new housing showed relatively strong growth compared with a year ago, which was the result of a sharp improvement in one segment of the market on a year-on-year basis since the start of the year. These trends are based on data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of building activity related to private sector-financed housing.
From January to February this year the number of new housing units for which building plans were approved increased by 3,2% year on year (y/y), or 271 units, to 8,806 units over this two-month period. The construction phase saw the number of new housing units built increasing by 28,1% y/y, or 1,443 units, to 6,575 units in the first two months of the year.
This growth, however, was the result of extremely strong growth in the segment for apartments and townhouses. The number of apartments and townhouses reported as being built increased by around 122% y/y, or 1,507 units, to a cumulative 2,739 units in January and February.
The sharp increase in housing units built in this segment of the market compared with a year ago may be attributed to reporting trends.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.