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Less than an hour to buy your home?
PropertyReporter - UK
eMoov.co.uk, has reported that on average, property buyers now take 53 minutes to buy their home.

Online estate agent, eMoov, surveyed over 1,000 UK homeowners to ascertain how long they took during the viewing process before submitting an offer. When eMoov ran the same research 12 months ago, they found it took just 38 minutes.

There’s been much talk in the industry of late about a lack of inventory, but despite this just 6% of UK buyers are rushing to submit an offer after just one viewing. The majority of buyers (53%) return for that all important second viewing, with a further 41% feeling the need to view a property more than twice.

ooba's property market predictions for 2016
ooba - South Africa
Poor economic growth and the increase in inflation will constrain the property market in 2016. According to Rhys Dyer, CEO of ooba, this is likely to result in increased decline rates across banks resulting in lower approval rates.

He further expects to see a lower percentage of first time home buyers in the market, as these consumers delay their home buying decisions until the economic position improves.

The top trends currently in the property sector in terms of home loan approvals
Home loan market still being driven by first time home buyers. 54% of applications are currently from first time homebuyers.

This has an impact on LTV, with 51% of applicants requesting a loan at 100% LTV. The percentage of final grants at 100% LTV however drops to 37%. We have already started to see the impact of interest rate increases as well as general increases in cost of living expenses on the consumer. Our approval rate has dropped from 76% in the first quarter of 2015, down to 72% now.
ooba 2016 Predictions

Buckle up for more interest rate increases this year
Rawson - South Africa
Property owners across South Africa are tightening their belts as the upward trend in the prime lending rate looks set to continue. With the repo rate climbing 50 basis points in the last half of 2015, the latest ABSA Housing Review predicts mortgage interest rates to hit 10.25% by the end of 2016. Add to this consumer price inflation (forecast to increase from an average of 4.6% to 5.7% in 2016) and low economic growth thanks to a struggling global economy, it looks set to be a pretty tough year for property owners and buyers alike.

“Things aren’t as dire as they were after the global financial crisis back in 2007/2008,” says Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, “but finance affordability is definitely being affected by the economy, and it’s going to be a difficult year for a lot of property owners faced with increasing mortgage repayments. New buyers are also going to be thinking twice before committing to purchases.”

In light of the increasing financial strain, Clarke advises existing home owners to focus on reducing unnecessary spending and make their bond repayments their financial priority. “With interest rates climbing, it becomes even more important to put every possible penny into your bond. Not doing so means paying dramatically more money to the bank over the long term,” he says, “increasing the cost – and therefore decreasing the return – on what is likely one of your biggest investments.”

Fine-tune your marketing now for a successful home sale
Harcourts - South Africa
Two interest rate increases in the past year and a decline in the discretionary income of most households means that correct pricing has become even more essential for home sellers hoping for a quick, clean transaction.

It is just not enough now for sellers to try to estimate the effect of certain events or negative economic trends on consumers in general, or on the other hand to rely on potential buyers having a positive response to a particular area.

The market really was changed for ever by the 2008/ 09 recession, which forced so many consumers to learn to manage their finances extremely carefully, and to think critically about credit and debt.
Fine-tune your marketing

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