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South Africa’s property sector worth R5.8 trillion

The South African property sector is worth a whopping R5.8 trillion according to results from the latest study undertaken to determine the size of the country’s property sector.

The Property Sector Charter Council today (July 12, 2016) released reviewed market size estimation that provides a snapshot of the South African Property Sector using figures from the financial year 2014/2015.

It reveals the property sector’s size at R5.3 trillion with a further R520 billion land officially zoned for commercial and residential development.

The study was compiled by MSCI for the Property Sector Charter Council. It was and remains the first and only research of its kind in the country. Its significance is far reaching.

This report builds on baseline research that measured the size of the property market in SA at a massive R4.9 trillion at the end of 2010. It shows a meaningful increase of nearly R1 trillion in four years.

The study also supplements the Property Sector Charter Council SA Property Sector Economic Impact Report that estimates the property sector’s contribution to GDP at a significant R191.4 billion in 2012 in terms of annual income and expenditure flows generated by the sector and a R46.5 billion contribution to the fiscus.

The research is part of a larger project by the council, which provides a point of departure against which various transformation charter imperatives can be assessed.

CEO of the Property Sector Charter Council, Portia Tau-Sekati says: “For a sector this big and this important it is crucial to have a hub of knowledge that consolidates information to support a common and consistent understanding of the sector.”

Tau-Sekati explains that by regularly updating this research the council also creates a measure of the effect of property cycles on the sector’s value, which can be significant.

Commercial property carries a value of around R1.3 trillion, up from some R780 billion, with almost R790 billion held by corporates, R300 billion held by REITs, R130 billion by unlisted funds, and R50 billion by life and pension funds.

Of this, retail property has the highest value at R534 billion (R340 billion in 2012) followed by office properties at R357 billion (R228 billion) and industrial properties at R281 billion (R187 billion). Hotels and other property accounted for R94 billion in value (R25 billion).

A key finding of the latest research shows that formal residential property still accounts for nearly three-quarters of property owned in South Africa, and grew from an estimated R3.0 trillion at the end of 2010 to R3.9 trillion. For the first time, it also considered informal residential property, although it has no value, which was quantified by the number of households provided by the Department of Human Settlements.

Undeveloped urban land zoned for development remained unchanged around R520 billion (1.1% of total land in SA).

The public sector contributed a total of R237 billion, of which around R102 billion is estimated to be in the hands of the Department of Public Works, R66 billion held by SA’s 19 largest state-owned enterprises, and R69 billion owned by metros and selected local municipalities.

Through this research, the Property Sector Charter Council continues to provide an updated scope of the property sector and create a more accurate overview of the South African economy.