GEORGE NEWS - The number of building plans approved by the George Municipality decreased by 13,45% for the period January to June 2019 compared with the same period last year. This decrease corresponds to a national downward trend.
According to figures released by Statistics SA, the value of nationally recorded building plans passed (at current prices) decreased by 6,1% (-R3 462,9-million) during January to June 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.
This represents a decrease of 5,4% in the value of residential building plans and 13,5% in the value of non-residential buildings.
George Business Chamber chairman Dr Dennis Farrell said the downward trend is a reflection of tough market conditions and somewhat pessimistic sentiment. "I think we have reached a saturation point where more houses are in the market. This is a national trend. Sales in especially the home sector of over R2,5-million are very, very slow. In some cases people are selling their property for less than they bought it for. In the high-end sector some people are possibly also considering overseas opportunities."
He said the economic pressure can also be seen in the downturn in the number of passengers flying to George over the past six months compared with the same period last year.
"Only June this year looks better than last year. One must however keep in mind that not everyone who flies, comes to George."
The George housing picture might also be impacted by the big volumes of retirement units that were possibly approved in 2018 and are only being built now. "What one should also take into account is the increase in backyard units without plans. The influx of people possibly points to hope being put in George to find jobs and this is also symptomatic of economic pressure. People stream to cities."
George residential 22,6% down
In George the number of residential plans approved decreased by 22,6% while flats / townhouse plans increased by 8,3%. Non-residential plans that were approved were down by 8,2%.
Comparison by square metres
There was a reduction of 31,67% in the total residential square metres approved in George and flats / townhouse floor space was down by 24,2%, while the space approved for non-residential buildings increased by 16,3%.
The figures for George are as follows:
- Approved plans (January 2019 - June 2019)
- Residential - 665 approved (39 681m²)
- Non-residential - 45 approved (22 028m²)
- Flats / townhouses - 378 approved (50 893m²)
- Approved plans (January 2018 - June 2018)
- Residential - 859 approved (58 070m²)
- Non-residential - 49 approved (26 312m²)
- Flats / townhouses - 349 approved (67 179m²).
- Less office space approved nationally
According to StatsSA, the floor space approved for office and banking space nationally is down by 36,6% and shopping space by 22,8%. Industrial and warehousing space approved was 9,3% down.
Nationally, the number of houses smaller than 80m² approved decreased by 48% and houses bigger than 80m² is down by 12,7% while the number of flats and townhouses approved decreased by 2,8%.
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