South Africa's black middle class enlivens property industry

South Africa’s Black Middle Class Enlivens Property Industry

The residential property market is moving strongly to the black buyer, according to Kura Chihota, the executive director of Leapfrog Property Group. Chihota said the growing buying power of South Africa’s black middle class was “dramatically” shaping the country’s economy and society.

This was being felt not only in the retail sector, vehicle sales and financial services, but also especially in the property sector, where statistics from the FNB Property Barometer showed that in some markets 49% of buyers of residential property were black. Chihota said real estate agencies who had anticipated the changes would be best placed to guide new buyers.

“Besides the obvious challenges such as a shortage of talented black agents within the industry, agencies will also need to review their marketing, advertising and media usage to meet this evolving need.”

Leapfrog said that the report also estimated that since 2005, about 50 000 people a month had moved out of the townships into more affluent suburbs where almost half of the 2.6 million black diamonds now lived. “And yet despite all the research and evidence of the change, the property industry is still lagging dramatically on the transformation front and currently, of the 72 000 estate agents registered with the Estate Agents Affairs Board, only 5 000 are black and only approximately 3% of transactions are handled by black agents,” said Chihota.

Leapfrog Property Group has pledged to grow the number of black agents, but with one provision – this growth was not designed to promote black estate agents selling only to black people and only in certain areas.

Published By: IOL property