Divergence in residential building activity in the first quarter of 2018

Divergent trends were evident in levels of building activity in the South African market for new housing in the first quarter of 2018:

  • The number of building plans approved for new housing increased by 17,1% year-on-year, or 2 245 plans, to 15 233 plans in the period January to March this year.
  • The number of new housing units reported as being completed was lower in each of the three categories of housing in the first three months of the year, which resulted in a combined decline of 25% y/y, or 2 547 units, to a total of 7 652 units over this period.
  • The average building cost of new housing completed increased by 3,1% y/y to R7 360 per square meter in the first quarter of 2018, compared with R7 135 per square meter in the same quarter last year.
  • Building activity with regard to alterations and additions to existing houses was relatively flat in the first quarter of 2018, with the building area approved rising by 0,9% y/y and the building area reported as completed contracting marginally by 0,1% y/y.
  • Confidence levels in the building industry improved in the first quarter of the year from the preceding quarter, but were still below the confidence-neutral level of 50 index points.

Read more here: Absa Building Stats March 2018