eastern cape coastline

The Eastern Cape’s housing market is benefitting from semigration. Image: Nick Pawson

Semigration: Why the Eastern Cape is the new promised land

The Eastern Cape is one of three coastal provinces – along with KZN and the Western Cape – benefiting from semigration.

eastern cape coastline

The Eastern Cape’s housing market is benefitting from semigration. Image: Nick Pawson

Residential property data has shown some notable trends in the South African housing market, mainly due to the semigration of residents from Gauteng to coastal regions like the Eastern Cape.

Factors driving semigration in SA include better safety, new work opportunities and better quality of life.

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According to the latest property brief from BetterBonds, in the 12 months ending April 2023, home prices rose in all regions with large metros.

Home prices benefitting from semigration

During the same period, the Eastern Cape recorded an impressive third place in nominal growth rate of home prices, benefiting from this semigration.

Countrywide, the increase was 3.7% year on year, which is positive in the current environment of low economic growth and high interest rates.

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Building plans passed – an indicator of future properties coming to the market – has doubled in value since the Covid-19 pandemic, and nearly trebled since 2013.

In the Eastern Cape, the value of residential building plans passed and residential buildings completed in larger municipalities have both risen in the past three years.

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According to the report, the pre-pandemic slump in new residential construction recovered to record highs, in nominal terms, during 2022.

The Eastern Cape is no small player

As SA’s second-largest province after the Northern Cape, the Eastern Cape is known for diverse wildlife and natural beauty, agriculture, manufacturing, and exports and imports.

Trade data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity shows Gqeberha exported more than R100 billion in goods last year – mainly motor vehicles, manganese and iron ores, catalytic converters and wool – and East London R50 billion.

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Gqeberha is a key manufacturing hub for many multinational companies.

The city’s Nelson Mandela University has more than 22,000 students enrolled.

Top attractions include the Tsitsikamma National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Sunshine Coast, Wild Coast, Amatola Mountains and the Valley of Desolation.