From buying power shifts to tech advances disrupting traditional ways of living, working and playing - this is why certain generations are buying property.
For the first time in over five years residential property market is expected to outperform the commercial property market - and for obvious reasons, as the ambition of first-time buyers to enter the property market is bolstered by the low 7% interest rate.
But it turns out that the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown have been a catalyst among various generations of home buyers.
While it’s obviously impossible to strictly categorise individuals according to age, it is interesting to look in general at the buying trends of different generations.
Boomers certainly not bust
When it comes to buying power in terms of living accommodation, ‘Boomers’ are certainly not to be written off just yet as, with considerable financial clout, they still represent a significant sector of the residential property market. Born between 1946 and 1964, this sizeable generation of late 50s to over 60s who in turn raised a generation of Millennials, are now, more than ever, investing in the comfort, security and spaciousness of lifestyle estates in appealing, countrified environs still within easy reach of hubs and all amenities.
For this still very active generation, having the freedom of access to a range of leisure and sports activities on their doorsteps is a priority, while for those with the means to do so, a second leisure property either in South Africa or offshore remains very attractive. With a desire to travel without being tied to a large property, others who are downscaling or looking for a retirement property seek the convenience of a lock-up-and go sectional title apartment or townhouse, or a manageable coastal property which is still large enough to cater for when family and friends come to stay.
Momentum for multigenerational living
The lockdown has placed a spotlight on a trend which is likely to gather further momentum, namely multi-generational living – already evident on estates, with parents – most likely from Generation X, born from 1965 to 1980, adult children and grandparents all living within the estate – with the parents in retirement accommodation and young couples in more affordable sectional title units, or living on freehold property in the suburbs with the grandparents and adult children living in the main house or in a cottage or second residence on the same property. Some members of Generation X are also known as the ‘Sandwich Generation’, supporting both parents and adult children within the home, a situation which is likely to prevail given the economic pressures created by the lockdown.
Rooted in mixed-use
The lockdown also appears to have prompted some Millennials from Generation Y (born from 1980 to 1995) to begin putting down roots, starting a family of their own and buying their first home, taking advantage of low interest rates. While this cohort was said to remain mobile, maintaining flexibility to travel globally, the confines of lockdown is seeing many acquiring homes with outdoor space in more affordable, peripheral areas or suburbs – especially as in many instances they can now work from home, instead of needing to be in the hub of central cities. However, they can also still be found renting or buying sectional title apartments in urban growth nodes, particularly in mixed-use developments which offer the convenience of on-site gyms, eateries and retail, as well as shared work space. Together with Generation X, Millennials fall within the largest ‘group’ of home buyers in South Africa, those aged between 25 and 55 years of age, which is followed by the Boomers.