Sunday, January 16

Demand for residential properties creates a global increase in transaction volumes

When analyzing 15 cities around the world, a report by international real estate firm Savills reveals that in the first half of 2021, 80% of locations saw transaction volumes for end-user residential properties that exceeded first-half figures of 2019.

“The race for space and the shift to working from home caused buyers around the world to reconsider where they live and what they want from their property. This convergence of factors resulted in an unexpected increase in transactions in the global residential market, despite the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Singapore saw the most significant recovery in residential transactions – a 90% annual increase during the first half of 2019. While South African cities were not included in the report, research by Pam Golding Properties indicates that sales in Cape Town during the first half of 2021 they were higher. than during the first half of 2019, by 11.2%, going from 17,900 to 19,900 units. This would place Cape Town between Hong Kong and Madrid (see chart below). The value of properties sold during the first half of 2021 was also higher in Cape Town, by 36%, increasing from R25 billion to R34 billion.

Residential property transaction volumes H1 2021 vs H1 2019

Source: Savills research using SouFun CREIS, Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority, Hong Kong Land Registry, East Japan Real Estate Information Network, Korea Appraisal Board, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Zillow, TwentyCi, National Institute of Statistics, CGEDD, Savills Dubai

Although Johannesburg sold approximately 900 fewer houses during the first half of 2021 than during the first half of 2019 (20,900 vs 21,800 units respectively, i.e. -4.1%), putting the metro housing market somewhere Place between Madrid and Paris, the value of properties sold in Johannesburg increased by 22.7% from R22 billion to R27 billion.

Kelcie Sellers, Savills Global Research Analyst, says: “With historically low interest rates likely to hold in many regions, transaction volumes will be supported in the short term. Looking ahead, as economies continue the process of returning to normal and cities revert to being centers of work, we will see another wave of buyers return to the market. In addition to this, the continued easing of restrictions around travel will also boost transaction volumes in global cities. ”

Pacific Asia

Real estate markets in Chinese cities remain relatively unchanged as severe lockdowns are avoided. For the city-state of Singapore, there was a Covid-related drop in transaction volumes from March to May 2020, but transactions have returned to pre-pandemic levels with volumes in the first half of 2021 nearly doubling. volumes seen in the first half of 2019. By contrast, transactions in Tokyo remained strong in 2020, but the increase in cash rates in 2021 has pushed transactions down, 24% less than in the same period in 2019.


Transactions in New York were severely affected between March and June 2020, however volumes exceeded average volumes before the pandemic in September and remained above average during the first half of 2021. With many tech workers working remotely, San Francisco suffered the most severe conditions. declines among US cities studied with transactions falling 57.5% in May 2020. However, the city has since returned to pre-pandemic levels. Transaction volumes in the first half of the year for Miami are at the highest level since before the GFC and are 33.9% above the same period for 2019.


Markets in Europe have seen a slower return to pre-pandemic transaction volumes. Parisian transactions have remained low due to repeated lockdowns that kept shoppers out of the city. In Madrid, the recovery also remained subdued, with transaction numbers only exceeding the pre-pandemic average in March 2021. London saw significant increases in transaction volumes once the property market reopened in May 2020, with the highest transaction volumes in the second quarter. 2021, as shoppers rushed to complete purchases before the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.

Dr. Andrew Golding, CEO of the Pam Golding Property Group.

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