Where is the most affordable housing in South Africa

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Where is the Most Affordable Housing in South Africa
Before answering the question of where the most affordable housing in South Africa is, we need to look at what is meant by “affordable housing” in South Africa. According to a GroundUp article, the term “affordable housing” is generally used by government officials, activists and politicians but its explanation remains vague. For the purposes of this report, Private Property has defined affordable housing as low cost property with an asking price of no more than R600,000. The data used in the article was gathered by Private Property for the year from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

Comparing Provinces for Affordable Housing
In order to compare regions for housing affordability, our data reveals which provinces have the highest percentage of affordable housing (housing with an asking price of no more than R600,000), and identifies which suburbs in each province have an affordable (no more than R600,000) median asking price.

altTextPercentage of low cost listings per province

For the year evaluated, the gathered data shows that the Eastern Cape ranked at the top for having the highest percentage of affordable housing. While the median asking price for all listings in the Eastern Cape was R1,150,000, in the more affordable suburbs of Mdantsane, Motherwell, Bethelsdorp and Algoa Park low income earners could expect to pay an average of R365,000, R377,500, R415,000 and R578,750 respectively for housing.

The median asking price for all listings in the Free State was R1,030,000, while suburbs such as Willows, Navalsig and the Bloemfontein CBD had a median asking price of R385,000, R480,000 and R499,000 respectively. The average asking price for all listings in the North West province was R1,240,000, but low income earners could expect to pay around R460,000 for housing in the suburb of Boitekong, and around R566,500 in Stilfontein.

As expected, the Western Cape had the highest median asking price for all listings, at R1,995,000. However, low income earners could still buy affordable housing in areas such as Delft, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Maitland, Macassar and Blue Downs with median asking prices at R310,000, R380,000, R509,000, R510,000, R549,500 and R580,000.

Although the Gauteng region ranks number four with its percentage of low cost listings in the past year, the province had the highest number of suburbs with affordable median asking prices, with 39 suburbs with a median asking price of R600,000 and under.

Comparing Low Cost Listings by Property Type
Many of South Africa’s low and middle income earners only have the option of settling for apartments or houses in affordable urban areas, as prices for townhouses are becoming less affordable for this income group. The data taken from Private Property shows that almost 50% of low cost listings were in the form of apartments, and 55% had two bedrooms, as the graphs below show.

altTextDistribution of property types under R600 000

altTextDistribution of property under R600 000 by number of bedrooms

It’s good to see that low and middle income earners might still afford to get a three-bedroom home, as the data indicates that 22% of low cost listings still offer three bedrooms. This percentage changes considerably when looking at four-bedroom homes, with only 1% of low cost listings offering this.

The table below shows the top 50 areas in South Africa where most of the housing stock is below R600 000.
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Whether looking for an affordable three-bedroom house or one-bedroom apartment to buy, buyers can use Private Property’s first time home buyers’ guide for expert home buying advice.

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