Reversal evident in diverging trends in residential building activity at segment level

The diverging trends in building activity with regard to new private sector-financed housing in South Africa since mid-2018 showed a marked reversal at a segment level in both the planning and construction phases recently.

As mentioned previously, these diverging trends could have been the result of significant lags in the reporting of completed housing to and/or approvals of plans for new housing by local government institutions.

Building plans approved for new housing was down by 15,4% year-on-year, or 5 711 plans, to 31 427 plans in January to July this year. Declines in plans approved were evident across all three segment of new housing over this period. New housing units reported as being completed showed growth of 36,4% y/y, or 7 647 units, to a total of 28 634 units in the first seven months of the year. The flat and townhouse segment were the main driver of this growth in new housing built.