Semigrating? Here’s where to move to next | Everything Property

Semigrating? Here’s where to move to next



Why SA’s best-run municipalities are favoured by semigrants and where the best places are to relocate to.

While SA is not looking good socioeconomically, many are not quite ready to move country, but rather opt for greener pastures elsewhere on home ground. Here’s where the experts say you should look and why a well-run municipality is non-negotiable.

The Mother City’s allure

“The Western Cape is still the top choice for semigrants,” says David Jacobs, regional sales manager for the Rawson Property Group. “Its biggest attractions are better service delivery, better maintained infrastructure, and an unemployment rate that’s more than 10% lower than the national average.”

The province does, however, have higher rental and house price inflation than the national average – particularly in its main metro, Cape Town. This, Jacobs says, can make it a costly exercise for people semigrating from other provinces to buy or rent a Western Cape property equivalent to their previous homes. Those willing to live slightly outside the urban centres, however, may find prices more inline with their hometowns.

Why the coast is good

“Larger coastal towns like Mossel Bay are proving very popular with semigrants,” says Jacobs. “Property prices there are still relatively affordable, but rising demand paired with ongoing growth and urbanisation will see these increase over time.” Other slightly smaller towns seeing a lot of semigration action include Hermanus and West Coast favourites like Langebaan, Paternoster and St Helena Bay. It’s not just the Western Cape’s coastline that has captured semigrants’ attention, however, Jacobs says both the Eastern Cape and KZN are giving the country’s so-called “golden child” a run for its semigrant money.

Small town magic

“The Eastern Cape offers many of the same outdoorsy lifestyle features as the Western Cape, but has a more temperate climate and a more affordable price point, on average,” says Jacobs. “There is arguably less opportunity in terms of employment, but with remote work as prevalent as it is, that isn’t a dealbreaker for everyone.” Similar to the Western Cape’s trend, smaller towns in the Eastern Cape are proving particularly popular with semigrants. Port Alfred is a firm, mid-sized favourite, as is its smaller coastal neighbour, Kleinemonde, and the inland agricultural town of Bathurst.

KZN suits all pockets

“KZN’s semigration trends are a little bit different,” says Jacobs. “The North Coast, around Ballito, is popular with affluent semigrants from Gauteng, while the mid-South Coast, around Port Shepstone, is gaining traction in the more cost-conscious market. In terms of lifestyle and opportunities, estate living is very popular in these areas, offering residents private security and good service delivery.”

With so many options on the table, it can be a challenge for semigrants to pick their preferred destination. Jacobs says much depends on budget, lifestyle preferences and conditions of employment. No matter the destination, however, Jacobs strongly recommends preparing for the move well in advance – particularly if you plan on selling an existing property.

Get expert advice

“We’re seeing a lot of property sales to semigrating buyers put on pause – or even fall through – because of delays in selling their previous homes,” he says. “The fact is, properties in semigration hotspots are moving much more quickly than those in other areas. It’s far wiser to sell first and shop around afterwards with the ability to put a condition-free offer down as soon as you find the right home.” To make the process easier, Jacobs highly recommends working with real estate brand that has a national footprint, or at least a local presence in both your hometown and chosen destination.

David Jacobs

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