We have short memories!

We have had a property boom here in St Francis over the past three years. Still, we forget that it was relatively subdued compared to the epic property boom in South Africa (particularly in St Francis) at the start of the century. The table shows the incredibly high property price growth in South Africa for the six years from 2002 to 2007, averaging around an astonishing 20% pa!! …. compared to around 4% over the last few years ….. but anecdotally even higher than 20% in St Francis!

That means that, on average, around South Africa, property prices doubled every four years during those years back then!

We moved to St Francis permanently in 2005, so we missed the first half of that boom, but by all accounts, particularly around 2002 to 2004, were the days of properties doubling in price in 12 months. The Links was launched, and 500 plots at relatively high prices were sold in weeks!

Around the country, buyers scrambled to buy in other golf estates, with developers obliging by planning them (and other property development projects), including two golf estates near JBay and one at Storms River.

Then came the global crash, and SA property plummeted by about -5% in 2008 and 2009. And many of those golf estates were aborted or inherited by banks.

From 2010 to the end of 2019, SA property growth was at about 5%, and property trading in St Francis was relatively slow for most of this time.

Property growth in SA in 2020 started at about 2% (seemingly slowing before we knew much about Covid!). Still, growth improved to about 4% for the second half of 2020 (but anecdotally much higher growth in St Francis!). South Africa remained at about 4% through 2021 and 2022 but slowed to about 2% this year.

Note: Info from the South African FNB House Price Index and all the averages are rough guesses but close enough to illustrate the points.

Richard Arderne