In 2018, a buyer's market - fuelled by political and economic uncertainty, increasing petrol prices and rising household costs - meant many properties sat on the market and potentially fetched lower prices, according to Nardee Cotterell, chief operations officer at online estate agency PropertyFox.
"We are seeing a pick-up in sales, in particular for houses close to schools, major highways, business hubs and airports, and we expect this to gather more momentum into the new year," says Cotterell.
The average time a house spent on the market increased from 11.1 weeks to 16.4 weeks from the first to second quarters of 2018, with 96% of properties having to drop their price after listing in order to achieve a sale.
She says accurate valuation of properties has become critical and will remain a pivotal part of selling quickly in 2019.
PropertyFox's top seven trends for 2019
The sharing economy
The trend of either buying to Airbnb or chipping in with friends in order to enter the property market will continue to gather steam in 2019.
PropertyFox expects a sharp increase in tourists and investment property buyers heading towards the Western Cape over the 2018/2019 festive season, following the decrease earlier this year in short-term investments, mainly due to the water crisis.
The caring economy
The cost of living continues to increase and with this, PropertyFox has seen many parents helping their children get onto the property ladder, either by assisting with deposits or buying in their name for their children to live in – or both.
Likewise, the agency has also seen a lot of "children" helping their parents sell in order to downscale and retire.
Ecologically friendly housing
Again, with the high cost of living in SA, consumers are always looking at ways to cut down on costs where they can, especially when it comes to household water and electricity use.
"We certainly saw homeowners investing more in this regard in the past 12 months, purchasing and investing in properties which have boreholes and rainwater tanks. Again, we expect this to continue in 2019," says Cotterell.
Increasing petrol prices and all-round living costs have added to the trend of sellers looking to down-scale in 2018, a trend PropertyFox believes will continue into 2019, with sellers looking to live closer to work and school and cutting costs where possible.
Estate living for security
With the increasing demand for safety and security, purchasing houses within security estates has seen growing popularity.
With only a few new security estate developments close to the major hubs in Cape Town, while many already exist in Gauteng, estate prices have and will continue to rise in 2019 with the added demand versus supply.
Semigration and emigration
During the beginning of 2018, the semigration trend slowed down, with fewer people coming down to Cape Town from other provinces, due to the Western Cape water crisis.
However, with the dam levels back up in the 70% to 80% region, PropertyFox expects to see the number of Johannesburg and even Durban families moving south start to rise once again in the early months of 2019.
Another noticeable trend is around sellers emigrating. According to the FNB House Price Index, over 7.5% of property owners with their homes on the market are packing up and leaving SA - a trend which will continue well into 2019 on the back of a weakening sentiment in SA, usually related to economic and political woes within the country, according to PropertyFox.
The rise and rise of prop-tech
Many buyers already start searching for their new homes online, and PropertyFox is anticipating that number to continue growing throughout 2019.
It anticipates that technology that allows sellers and buyers to save time and save money will increase in importance.