The past month's COVID Level 4 restrictions have undoubtedly impacted the economy and real estate market. The general feeling is that in most metros real estate activity remained buoyant and activity is on the increase, but we will have to analyse the data in the coming weeks to come to a true market identification.
It is the end of July and we are approaching the final two quarters of a very unpredictable year. Trends have been defied, statistics have been interesting and the market has been surprising.
For the most part, our residential sales have displayed positive numbers, with many of our offices experiencing record months. Harcourts now has more agents than at any time in its history, and our office footprint has grown significantly over the last year. Commercial real estate, both sales and rentals, are beginning to claw their way out of the "work at home" activities and we are hopeful that, that part of the industry will return to a new normal, that is healthy.
Multiple elements have influenced South Africa's vastly varied property market. Some small towns have showcased impressive numbers as families identified lifestyle opportunities as a primary concern, others have harnessed investment opportunities in previously unaffordable areas. Coastal towns such as Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape and Hermanus in the Western Cape have greatly benefitted from the "work from home" culture, whereas suburban hubs have attracted people wanting to set up a base for their families that is secure and close to amenities.
We are so proud of the way our offices and agents have navigated these unprecedented times. Abiding by guidelines, innovating methods to assist clients and wholeheartedly embracing all the new tech advancements that Harcourts provides them.
According to the most recent numbers our economic recovery appears to be on the right path and factors such as the low interest rate, lending appetite from the banks and first-time buyers desire to purchase homes will greatly influence future trends.
South Africans are a nation that despite the greatest threats to our community we have the ability to grow and unite in an effort to overcome adversity. At Harcourts, we have a set of values that act as a guideline to our daily real estate practices, and these values, such as people first and doing the right thing, are evident on the very streets, in the morning air, on top of the mountains and in the essence of our homes, of our beautiful country.