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SA market trends: Where to invest in property right now
In contrast, after slowing in recent years, growth in house prices in both Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal has been rebounding gradually since mid-2017, with the East Rand showing the strongest rebound of the three Gauteng metro areas.

Notwithstanding the fact that South Africa’s economy is technically in a recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative quarter-on-quarter growth, in addition to an unfortunate combination of factors including the potential threat of a global trade war, a weakening rand, rising oil prices and the unlikelihood of further local interest rate cuts, which have further muted optimistic sentiment, the housing market surprisingly has some bright sparks.

This is according to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive for the Pam Golding Property group.

Property buyers’ market: 2018 is the year of the ‘big squeeze’
For those involved in the property industry, 2018 to date has surprised many in terms of the extent of the contraction.

“Times are tough in our industry, but for buyers who have cash on hand it presents an opportunity to secure a property at pricing that may not have been possible otherwise,” says licensee and principal of Seeff Dolphin Coast, Andreas Wassenaar, who outlines what makes this the year of the “big squeeze” and why this is great for potential buyers.

In order to better understand the impact on property transactions for the first seven months of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017, Wassenaar analysed the sales across several main areas of trade on KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast and then compared the findings to a sample of Western Cape estates and suburbs.

Distressed property must-knows: Can you find a bargain?
The term ‘distressed property' refers to homes that have been put onto the market because the homeowner has fallen into some sort of financial peril and needs to be ‘rescued’ from their debt. Admittedly, many of these properties require a bit of work, but they do provide an opportunity for buyers.

“The misnomer is that it is not the house that is in distress, but the homeowner," says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. "Through the RE/MAX Certified Distressed Property Advisor programme, we train our agents to deal with these delicate and highly emotionally charged transactions. We aim to assist the seller in reducing their debt to zero or as close to it as possible by providing the best service to both the seller and buyer.”

Sadly, in these trying financial times, he says they are likely to see an uptake in the amount of these kinds of sales until our economic outlook takes a turn for the better.

Selling your home: Is it worth the trouble having show days?
It’s spring, which is traditionally one of the best home sales periods of the year, and a great time for sellers to list and start showing their property off to potential buyers.

“However, given the excellent quality of photos and videos of homes for sale that can be displayed online these days, there are many agents who believe that traditional show days are totally outdated now, and will only arrange individual viewings for interested buyers who respond to their internet marketing. And this idea may appeal to sellers who don’t like the idea of their home essentially being open to strangers and the security risks that this might pose,” says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group.

But, Everitt says, it’s important to remember that not all potential buyers have access to the internet - and that not all make use of property portals and websites, even if they do have access, so a show day may be the only way they will notice a particular home for sale.

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