According to an FNB price index, house prices in six major metros including Cape Town, Johannesburg and Ethekwini have risen by 11,6% in the first quarter of 2015.

Earlier this year the FNB price index also revealed that house growth in townships had outperformed major metro residential areas.

FNB household and property sector strategist John Loos earlier this year said the number of sales by first-time home-buyers stood at 25% and that the higher growth in previously disadvantaged areas was due to affordability.

“In short, affordability may be starting to become an increasing priority as the overall residential market strengthens, and this may play into the hands of former township markets, driving mildly superior house price inflation of late.”

With township houses being more affordable for first-time buyers than houses in more developed suburbs, estate agent Matseleng Mogodi, who owns Snooks Estates, told Times Live that he was not surprised by the report.

“Our buyers are typically first-time home-owners. They are young professionals starting out,” said Mogodi, adding that his agency had sold homes for up to R1,2 million.

The average house price in townships is R323 472, slightly higher than last year’s R304 562. “There can be no doubt that the affordable R350 000 to R600 000 price range sector of the market is where the activity is at, both in terms of sales and especially in terms of the demand for affordable rental accommodation,” Seeff chairman Samuel Seeff told Times Live.

“In fact, looking at the deeds office transactions you will note that anything between 30% and 45% of all transactions over the last year were in this price band.”

SOURCES: Times Live, Sapa.