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Coastal semigration: More people are buying their dream home

South Africa is experiencing increased semigration to coastal areas, with many homebuyers seeking a better work-from-home lifestyle as a result of the pandemic.


Article summary

  • Semigration to coastal areas has increased among both retirees and young families.
  • The work-from-home lifestyle of the Covid pandemic has led many to seek a high-quality home life.
  • Record low interest rates mean that coastal housing is the most affordable it’s been in a long time.

A house by the beach may seem like an unattainable dream, but in South Africa that dream is becoming a reality for many, as more and more people semigrate to serene areas of the country in order to get away from the hustle of city life.

What is semigration?

Semigration means movement from one part of a country to another (as opposed to emigration, which is migration to another country). South Africa is seeing a rising trend in semigration, the majority of which is taking homebuyers to remote areas of the country.

Most of the semigration in South Africa is to coastal areas. The Garden Route, False Bay, Noordhoek, and Gansbaai are just a few of the regions experiencing a significant influx of homebuyers. The Garden Route is the prime destination, with 2020 having been a record year for Plettenberg Bay, and 2021 looking likely to outstrip it.

Why the rise in semigration?

The biggest factor is the Covid-19 pandemic. The work-from-home lifestyle has led many to reevaluate the quality of their home life. Naturally, they come to the conclusion that working from home is a lot more enjoyable when you have inspiring scenery and a rejuvenating outdoor lifestyle.

Another benefit of moving to coastal areas is that they will become more developed as a result of the mass semigration, with better infrastructure and amenities..

Who is doing the semigrating?

  • Professionals and business people seeking a better work-from-home life.
  • People aged 50 to 70 who are looking to retire early.
  • Young families who have children at school, and are looking for a more relaxed lifestyle.

It’s not just the wealthy purchasing homes in scenic coastal areas. Many younger home buyers are taking advantage of South Africa’s record low interest rates. According to Lightstone’s property data, the 24 to 40 age group is the dominant demographic.

Why now is the best time to semigrate

Record-low interest rates mean that the time is now for those who intend to semigrate. Homebuyers will want to take advantage of the availability of affordable housing before it all gets snapped up, and secure a spot before these coastal regions become more expensive as a result of increased development.

If you wish to take advantage of this window of opportunity, bear in mind that ooba Home Loans offers a range of tools that can make the home buying process easier. Start with our Bond Calculator, then use the ooba Home Loans Bond Indicator to determine what you can afford. Finally, when you’re ready, you can apply for a home loan.

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