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Total South African Real Estate Value Estimated at $604 Billion

Total South African Real Estate Value Estimated at $604 Billion

Believe it or not, real estate existing real estate  in South Africa currently is currently valued at $604 billion in US dollars, according to new research prepared by the Property Sector Charter Co. in Johannesburg.

It is the first study of its kind about the size and shape of the country's property industry. In South African currency, the total is R4.9 trillion.

The information is important because real estate transactions contribute to the country's economy and in 2009 comprised 8.3% of gross domestic product (GDP), according to another report, one by the South African Property Owners Association

In a prepared statement, Portia Tau-Sekati, CEO of the Property Sector Charter Company, said  "the research creates a hub of knowledge about the property sector, consolidating information and developing a common and consistent understanding.

"The study is a useful tool for understanding the South African property market and its dynamics," he said.

"By determining the size of the South African property sector, we are moving towards a proper baseline measure to assess market size and its components, the scale of different services and activities within the sector," Tau-Sekati said. reports that according to the Charter Council's study, only 1% of the country's land is urban and residential, about 73% is natural pasture, about 12% is agricultural and the remaining land is comprised of conservations and reserves.

It also indicates that about two-thirds of the property owned in South Africa is residential and worth R3-trillion, while commercial property is worth R780-billion.

Undeveloped land that is zoned for development is valued at R520-billion and publicly owned property, including national, provincial and local government and state-owned enterprises, is worth R570-billion.

"Retail property has the highest value of the commercial property sectors in South Africa at R340-billion, followed by office properties at R228-billion and industrial properties at R187-billion," the Charter Council reported.

"Representing a small comparative value of R25-billion is hospitality, leisure and 'other' property."

The study will be an annual one and the Charter Council aims for it to become the benchmark against which progress in the industry is measured.

According to Wikipedia, one South African rand (ZAR) equals about  $0.12084 US. The rand was introduced to South African 1961 and takes its name from the Witwatersrand, the ridge upon which Johannesburg is built and where most of South Africa's gold deposits were found. The Rand circulates freely in Namibia, Swaziland and Lesotho.  

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