Residential building statistics

Double-digit growth in new housing planned in 2014, with the construction phase contracting from the previous year

Growth in the planning phase of residential building activity in the South African market for new housing, as reflected by the number of building plans approved by local government authorities, was in 2014 at its highest level in more than 10 years. However, the construction phase of new housing, i.e. the volume of housing units reported as completed, contracted for the second consecutive year. These trends are based on data published by Statistics South Africa in respect of building activity related to private sector-financed housing (see explanatory notes).

The number of new housing units for which building plans were approved increased by 12,6% to a total of 56 871 in 2014. This was the strongest growth since 2002, with the volume of plans approved at its highest level since 2008. The segments of smaller-sized houses (<80m²) and flats and townhouses were the main contributors to the increased level of plans approved. These two segments of housing were also a strong focus of housing supply over the past two decades (see table on page 2 of the report). Although not all housing planned will eventually be built, the expectation is that the marked improvement in the planning of new housing in 2014 will be reflected in the construction phase in due course. To read more please click here to download the full article compiled by Jacques du Toit, a Property Analyst with Absa Home Loans