The South African real estate market is a vast and diverse landscape, made up of many pods of localised markets. You have regions in the Western Cape like Somerset West and the Atlantic Seaboard experiencing high growth and demand whilst just a stone's throw from these areas are suburbs experiencing a flatter market.
Similarly there are entire towns in Gauteng undergoing huge transitional periods playing into the hands of buyers and not far away sellers have the upper hand in high demand lifestyle estates.
It is with this in mind that one should always be weary of fleeting blanket statements that aim to encapsulate the entire South African market in a single swooping statement. Painting the South African property market with a generalised brush as "under pressure or booming" creates misinformation about your direct market. The country's economic cycle, undeniably tied to the property landscape in a broader sense, cannot take individual markets into account.
When deciding on selling your home or buying a new property, please, do not shy away from research. In fact, I am advising the opposite. Dedicate time on educating yourself on the general perception of real estate in South Africa, but simultaneously research your local market. Studying the prices of homes in your target areas, getting the insight from local property experts on their blogs, and read what clients are saying about their experiences on social platforms and forums.
Then do the same when selecting an estate agent. Find an area specialist with a good reputation to point you in the right direction. Show them your research and tell them your concerns and inform them of your understanding, if they take everything you say into account and offer you insightful advice whilst looking after your needs then that is the estate agent for you.
Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer