How to find an apartment in South Africa

To find an apartment, a house, or a room in South Africa, you can start with Property24,  Private Property, or a FB group like Huis Huis Cape Town Rentals.

Many resources are available to find an apartment or a room in South Africa. Those can be websites, Facebook groups, or classifieds. You can also walk and look for signage on houses or agencies. You can also talk with people. Someone may know someone.

How to find an apartment in South Africa is similar whether you are a resident or a new foreigner in South Africa. Half of South Africa’s population doesn’t own where they live. Renting is very common in South Africa.

Try to contact the property owners or managers directly. If you use an agency, determine how much you must pay them. Agencies sometimes want you to pay them a month’s rent just because they show you an apartment or they add a percentage of money to your deposit that they keep. You also want to avoid scammers. You want to find an honest owner or an honest agency. So do as much research as possible on the people you are dealing with.

BaiduGoogleNaverSogouYandex, or any other search engine can be a good start for a search for an apartment or a house. You could look for “Apartments for rent in Cape Town” or “House for sale in Johannesburg.”

Read more for a list of real estate websites in South Africa.

All links in this article lead to resources in English. Use Google Translate if you need. Or any other translation tool you like.

Steps to getting an apartment in South Africa

You want to follow these steps to find accommodation in South Africa,

  • Determine your budget.
  • Look for the apartment in person or online. Check some real estate websites.
  • Locate your ideal neighborhood.
  • Make up your mind if you want to share your accommodation with someone.
  • Decide if you want a furnished or unfurnished apartment or house.
  • Sign a contract. You may need a formal contract.

How hard is it to find an apartment in South Africa

It’s not that hard to get an apartment in South Africa. If you are in South Africa, you can visit the locations in person, but online viewing is also possible. It is maybe easier for the landlord if you speak Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu, and Afrikaans. However, you may get by with some basic English via text. Or in any other language that your agent or landlady speaks.

Can you afford it?

Consider your income and what you can afford. Apartments in South Africa can be expensive, but you can find affordable accommodation if you look for them long enough.

Your housing cost should not be more than a third of your income. Rent or mortgage can be half of your income for a short time. More than that is unsustainable, especially if you have someone to care for.
You may not need a job to rent. But landlords want to be sure you can afford the rent.

You may need to provide more documentation if you don’t work. If you are a student, your university or college can guide you on accommodation.

Think about free housing options.

Support for families who would otherwise be unable to find acceptable housing on the housing market is the goal of social housing aid in South Africa.

What accommodation do you need? And where?

Think about what you need and where.

Are you seeking accommodation in the city, the suburbs or the countryside?

Do you need a lot of space? Do you want to share your accommodation or do you want to stay on your own?

Is your place close to public transport? Do you need a car?

How expensive would it be to get around from your house to your job, school, food shops, fun places, or just a park?

You get many options:

  • a bed in a shared room;
  • a single room in a shared house or apartment;
  • a studio apartment;
  • A furnished or unfurnished apartment or house. Which documents do you need?

What documents do you need for a South African apartment

Which documents you need depends on who you are negotiating with. Renting and or buying accommodation can also be an agreement among individuals. Therefore sometimes you need many documents, and other times you can agree with a conversation by text.

For example, to rent an apartment, a house, or a room in South Africa, you may need to show one or more of these documents:

  • Proof of identity, like a passport photo
  • Paycheck stub as of recent pay period
  • Recent bank statements (most recent three months)

You may not need to show anything. It depends on your agreement with the landlady or the accommodation manager.

You need more documents and pay taxes on the transaction to buy a place. But sometimes, it can be easy, for example, if you find a house at an auction.

How much is the average apartment in South Africa

In comparison to other nations, rent in South Africa is quite cheap.

If you reside in the city center, rates might vary substantially. R4,000 to R11,000 is the monthly rent for a one-bedroom flat in central Johannesburg. Suburban flats cost less than R8,000 per month.

Your rent or property will depend on where you reside. Three-bedroom homes in Johannesburg may rent for R8,500–R30,000.

Buying a house in South Africa can cost R16,638.69 or 920 US Dollars per square meter to more than R12,724.44 or 703 US Dollars per square meter.

A room is about 15 square meters or more, a studio apartment is around 50 square meters, and a whole apartment or house should be more than 80 square meters.

Ten ZAR are about 0.55 US dollars, 46 Indian rupees, or 4 Chinese yuan.

Read more on:

How to buy a house in Germany,

How to rent accommodation in Germany,

Real estate website in Germany.

Source:  ExpaticaNumbeo

The cover image is in South Africa. Photo by Anaya Katlego on Unsplash.


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