Research Residential

First-time buyers: Where to after they sell?

Around 30 000 first-time buyers sold up in 2022 to purchase their second home, according to Lightstone.

Almost 50% of them had been in their first property for less than ten years while just over 30% had been in their first homes between ten and twenty years, 15% between twenty and thirty years and 5% for more than thirty years.

Hayley Ivins-Downes, Head of Digital at Lightstone Property, says that data, at current values, shows that those who had been in their first homes for between five to ten years (and sold) tend to upscale from an average price of R1.4 million to an average of R2.1 million. At the other end of the scale, those who had been in their first home for more than thirty years downscaled, buying their next home, on average, for less (R1.7 million) than they sold for (R1.8 million).

Of the first-time buyers who sold in 2022, the largest group were aged between thirty and forty, followed by the forty- to fifty-year-olds and fifty- to sixty-year-olds.

On average, those under sixty who sold their first homes spent more buying their second home, with the biggest gap being thirty- to forty-year-olds who sold for R1.35 million and bought for R2.1 million. Those over sixty bought for less as they downscaled.

Interestingly, it is the older age groups which move to different municipalities more, presumably as they move to a place of retirement. The sixty–seventy-year-olds were most likely to move to a new municipality, followed by the fifty- to sixty-year-olds and then the over seventies. The least likely to move municipalities were the thirty–forty-year-olds,” said Ivins-Downes.

If we consider who buys for less than they sell (i.e., they downscale) it is least likely in the thirty-to-forty-year band and then increases with age, peaking at around retirement age and beyond.”

The under thirty age band is something of an anomaly with relatively more downscaling, which may be the result of some families overcommitting in their first purchase and growing expenditures,” she concludes.