Average South African property sizes in 2007 have more than halved to what they where in 1980. This is mainly due to the increase of subdivision of property in South Africa over the last three decades.
Subdivision of property in South Africa have particularly increased over the last decade with city council programmes indirectly encouraging high-density developments in urban areas. This is a trend that is set to continue as demand for property remains steady in the middle and lower segments of the property market.
Although subdivision of property in South Africa is an attractive investment possibility, property consultants advise people to be aware that costs have increased and many existing conditions are being applied more stringently. New bylaws and legislation aimed at protecting the sustainability of the natural environment have also come into existence. Where zoning and title deeds allow subdivision the process can be more straightforward; if for example you want to divide a house into two semis, all you need is to hire a land surveyor and an attorney.
South African property owners need to be aware of zoning limitations in the area where they live or where they want to buy a piece of land to subdivide at a later stage. If an area needs to be re-zoned to accommodate subdivision it will take about 18 months for the re-zoning process to be completed. The subdivision on top of that could increase the processing period to between 14 and 24 months and the process could also be prolonged if the property owner needs to apply for the lifting of title deed restrictions, or if the property necessitates environmental impact studies.
For subdivision of property in South Africa the bond holder’s consent is required in the case of a bonded property. The process needs to be approved by the local authority, the Registrar of Deeds and the Surveyor General. The land surveyor will draw the new site diagrams and lodge these with the Surveyor General and municipality at your cost after which a conveyancer needs to lodge it with the Registrar of Deeds.