Housing Demand Booms -- In South African Shantytowns

The rabid market for housing has spread from upper- and middle-class neighborhoods to the shacks of impoverished slum townships, with tens of prospective buyers for every property.

South African real estate companies have moved into a territory virtually untouched: shantytowns. Built by apartheid leaders in the '60s and '70s to push aside the country's black and mixed-race people, these slums have been slowly evolving into vibrant economies, with increasing amounts of local retail and infrastructure improvements. Shacks no bigger than a common bathroom are drawing in tens of purchase offers and netting anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000. Facing high unemployment and an even higher housing demand, the South Africa government has kicked up efforts and shone new light on an all-but ignored housing market.

"Spurred by government pressure â€" and the profit motive â€" South Africa's four big banks are entering the low-income market in earnest, offering home-loan packages for poor households and financing malls and other retail ventures in long-ignored areas."

"The national government has also weighed in. After building thousands of free one- and two-room corrugated-roof homes for the homeless, it has arranged to free up billions in low-cost home loans to the three citizens in four who earn less than about $500 a month."

Full Story: Shacks in South Africa Can Garner Fancy Prices

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

NEW! City Map Posters

Available in 9 different cities.
$25.00