South African property is a complex market with a range of different prices, curious qualities and one-of-a-kind offerings, from some of the most expensive to the most affordable in the world.

With such a vast contrast of property in our country, there are also some interesting facts that have developed over the years, that you may not know about.


1. The most expensive home ever sold

One of the most expensive recorded property sales ever, was right here in Cape Town. In 2016 a German Couple bought a home in Bantry Bay overlooking the Cape’s iconic Atlantic Seaboard for R290-million. What made the purchase so expensive was the inclusion of two adjacent vacant plots to ensure no one would ever build something to obstruct their view.


2. 18% of South Africans live in informal housing

A General Household Survey for 2017 compiled by StatsSA shows that 79.4% of households in metropolitan areas live in formal dwellings, followed by 18% in informal dwellings, and 1.3% in traditional dwellings. Informal living is most common in areas of Johannesburg such as Buffalo City where 26% of the city’s locals live informally. The area with the least common informal living is Nelson Mandela Bay, where 6.6% of the Cape Town locals live informally.


3.  Half of all land in Limpopo is company owned

A Land Audit Report done in November 2017, showed that 50% of the 7 758 940 hectares of registered land in Limpopo is company owned, with individuals owning a mere 22% in comparison. This, however, is a strong contrast to the rest of the country, where the 93 956 125 hectares of all registered land in South Africa that is privately owned. Individuals own 39% of the land, followed by trusts at 31%, companies at 25%, community-based organisations at 4%, and co-ownership at just 1%.


4. The state owns less than 20% of all registered land

A total of 82% of the 93 956 125 hectares of land (114 223 273 hectares) is owned by private landowners. The leftovers of roughly 18% are under state ownership.


5. 2% of South African farmland is owned by foreigners 

A total of 92% of farmlands and agricultural holdings belong to South Africans while just 2% is owned by foreign nationals. In terms of property, there are 726 966 title owners in the country, 78% are South African nationals while 18% are foreign nationals and 4% fall under the category of ‘other’.

Pictures: Private Property/ Unsplash

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