Life was better for blacks under apartheid ?
Johannesburg - Blacks and other previously disadvantaged groups are now responsible for half of all suburban property transactions.
Between 2005 and 2009 black buyers in suburban areas increased from 23% to 29.5%, according to First National Bank's (FNB's) property barometer for the fourth quarter of 2009, which was published last week.
In contrast, the percentage of white buyers over the same period declined from 57% in 2005 to 50.3%.
The numbers of coloured and Indian buyers remained almost unchanged at 7.3% and 13% respectively.
John Loos, property analyst at FNB's home loan division, said the escalation in black buyers' demand for housing in suburban areas is being driven by the relatively strong growth in their disposable income, which comes off a low base compared with the other race groups.
Data from HIS Global Insight showed blacks' cumulative real disposable income increased by 70.5% between 1999 and 2008, while the so-called "relatively affluent" coloured and Indian groups experienced a 50% increase. The white population group, the most affluent on a per capita basis, experienced estimated growth of 40.7%.
Loos said between 1999 and 2008 the black population increased by an estimated 14%, while the number of black households was 36.9% up.
He attributed this partly to new households being established at a younger age, because an increasing number of entrants to the labour market have the financial ability to do so.
This trend will lead to the demand for smaller dwelling units increasing significantly over time.