Please note that you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer which is not compatible with some elements of the site. We strongly urge you to update to a newer version for optimal browsing experience.

Landlords to cash in as rental demand rises in 2016

26 Jan 2016

Landlords can look forward to rising rental demand in 2016, and this may well increase the number of investors who see good opportunities in buying homes to let.

Schaefer says rental demand is likely to be boosted by those who decide to postpone a home purchase due to economic and employment uncertainties.

This is according to Andrew Schaefer, MD of national property management company Trafalgar, who says the demand for rental units is expected to rise in the coming months, thanks to higher interest rates and greater economic uncertainty at home and abroad.

“Rising rates always put a strain on affordability and make it more difficult for prospective buyers to qualify for home loans, especially if they are first-timers who also need to save large amounts of cash to pay a deposit and transfer costs,” he says.

“Many such consumers are thus likely to remain in rental accommodation over the next two years instead of buying their own homes.

At the same time, he says rental demand is likely to be boosted by those who decide to postpone a home purchase due to economic and employment uncertainties, and homeowners who decide to sell their properties due to financial pressure and rent instead.

Schaefer says this situation is not unique to SA.

“Around the world, the current swing towards renting is evident in both the rising average age of first-time home buyers and declining homeownership levels,” he says.

“For example, according to this year’s Global Housing and Mortgage Outlook report from Fitch Ratings, the percentage of homeowners in the US has fallen to 65% from 69% in 2006, in the UK to 65% from 73%, and in Australia to 68% from 71%.”

He says another major driver of such changes is the digital revolution that continues to enable, and even encourage, greater levels of self-employment and rapid mobility in order to be able to work on short-term contracts wherever they may be, and then move on again.

“This has given rise to the increased demand in recent years for flexible office space, and demand is similarly rising now for ‘flexible living space’ - that is, rental homes and apartments that do not bind the occupants to a single location, but enable them to relocate relatively easily in pursuit of new work opportunities.”

Schaefer says added to this is the fact that fewer people have either the time or the inclination to worry about property maintenance, security and other issues such as insurance and property rates.

“Lifestyles have changed radically and there is an increasing view, in our experience, that property ownership is for professionals - that is, for people who make a full-time living out of it with the help of expert management companies,” he says.

“This is why one will now often encounter people prepared to pay more rent for a property they like than it would cost them to buy one of their own, and also explains the rise in recent years of several large companies that are invested in residential rental properties rather than office blocks and other commercial space.”

However, the supply of rental properties in many parts of the world, and especially in major financial centres, is still running well behind demand, and that means that rentals are also set to keep rising, despite any problems tenants may have in keeping up with other cost-of-living increases.

“Indeed, we are already seeing above-average increases and returns in high-demand areas now, and this is bound to attract more investors to the sector,” says Schaefer.

“Currently, buy-to-let investors account for only around 10% to 12% of residential property purchases in South Africa, but we anticipate that this percentage will increase over the next two years, depending on the rate at which new rental units are brought to market.”
Print Print
Top Articles
With short-term lets ranging from R800 to R160k per day, here's what you'll pay in Cape Town, False Bay, coastal towns in the Overberg region, the Winelands and more...

Following the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement, sales of luxury apartments and houses in Joburg’s northern heritage suburbs have shot up over the past few months.

From Hartbeespoort, Rustenburg, Potchefstroom to Bloemfontein, Parys and Nelspruit, take a look at these easy-living and well-priced retirement estate properties…


Your browser is out of date!

It looks like you are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer.

If you are using Internet Explorer 8 or higher, please verify that your Internet Explorer compatibility view settings are not enabled.

For the best browsing experience, update to the latest Version of Internet Explorer or try out Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Please contact our Property24 Support Team for further assistance. Tel. +27 (0)861 111 724