According to FNB’s Property Barometer, house prices grew by a rather pathetic 1.5% year on year in 2023. When you combine that with the inflationary impact on property taxes and other costs (such as insurance and security), South Africans really aren’t being rewarded for home ownership. Worst of all, this is before we even consider the risks.

Unless you’ve been living in an ignorance-is-bliss manner that would impress even ostriches, you’d have noticed the risks: aside from the macroeconomic problems that were all over the headlines before and after the budget speech, there are more localised risks such as crumbling municipalities and infrastructure. Among my peer group of 30-somethings with young children, most finance professionals are trying as hard as possible to rent rather than buy, even with the lifestyle disruptions this can bring. Plenty of others are taking the same approach. This tells you something about the current mindset...

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