And You Thought Real Estate Was Booming Over Here…


In South Africa, The New York Times reports, you can buy a nice tin-roofed shack for $21,000:

Sellers' markets are nothing new in South Africa, where demand for real estate—and the rise in prices—has been more robust this decade than almost anywhere. But until now the boom was largely confined to middle- and upper-class homes.

Now there are hints that it is spreading to an unlikely venue: townships, the ready-made slums erected by South Africa's former apartheid rulers to separate black and mixed-race citizens from whites….among the nation's rising black middle class, they are becoming preferred places to live, especially as shopping and other services take root. In short, they are becoming hip.

In 1994, after South Africa shed apartheid rule, "the main goal was to get out of the townships," Ms. Rust said, "and the people who managed to do that found themselves in neighborhoods that functioned quite differently, and socially were difficult. So they moved back. That could be what's happening here."