Why people sold property in 2019’s first quarter

Apr 30, 2019 10:19:50 PM Share this:

Downscaling, whether for financial reasons or due to life stage, is still why most people sell their homes and they will sell if ‘priced right’ as it is still very much a buyer’s market – but emigration and dual living are also trends to watch in 2019.

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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, Property Markets, buying and selling, South African Elections 2019

Harcourts South Africa growth defies market decline

Apr 18, 2019 9:20:54 PM Share this:

Despite the industry experiencing a decline in year on year sales, March 2019 was Harcourts South Africa's best month since Harcourts started in South Africa in 2009. Boasting 10% growth on the same month last year. In addition, Harcourts South Africa's first quarter was up 11% on the same period in 2018.

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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts International, Real Estate Agents, Harcourts Growth, Harcourts Real Estate

Hermanus property market attracting a wide range of interest

Apr 11, 2019 8:00:03 PM Share this:

In the past few years, the Hermanus property landscape has certainly changed dramatically, losing the sleepy-town stigma and attracting quite a lot of interest from inland buyers and becoming a haven for semigrants. However, the local Western Cape buyers, many younger professionals that work from home, are showing a lot of interest in this region too.

The advantage for many property investors when purchasing property in Hermanus is the incredible value and return on investment opportunities homes in this region offer. The variety of property options range from small apartments to large family homes and development stands on the edge of the ocean. This opens up the region to a diverse range of buyers and creates exciting demand.

Technology has certainly played a role as we are now able to present Hermanus properties to the local, national and international market in an effective and convenient matter. What's equally exciting is that we're finding many professionals now being afforded the luxury of working from home, which opens up their location choices.

Hermanus is the perfect getaway from the city that celebrates a relaxed lifestyle all while having the option, if you desire, to drive into Cape Town in under two hours. Hermanus has an abundance of amenities, fantastic schools, a thriving local business landscape and a wonderful sense of community among the people. All this while being nestled by the majestic mountains above.

We've seen incredible value and growth in certain regions within Hermanus as well as surrounding areas like Kleinmond, Gansbaai and Betty's Bay. Our team of specialists have their fingers on the pulse of the Overberg market and we're able to assist both sellers and buyers to best achieve their desired results.

Statement by

Jana Smith
Harcourts Hermanus Principal

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Topics: Richard Gray, Investing in Property, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts Hermanus

Price your property to sell in the current market

Jan 23, 2019 7:19:21 PM Share this:

Whether it is a buyers or seller's market accurate valuation and pricing of your home is imperative if you aim to have a successful transaction. Realistic pricing is relevant to accurate market value and often buyers will compare your home to the properties in the area so they can gauge an insight into the true market value.

Market fluctuations and economic pressures undoubtedly influence the price of property and we've seen some homeowners having to drop expected prices due to the external economic factors affecting the market from a holistic perspective.

Therefore, If your property is over-valuated it not only wastes valuable marketing time but it can very often gain a stigma that negatively affects the perception of the home going forward. In the end, you may end up getting far less for your property than could have been initially obtained. No matter how well your property is marketed, if the price isn't right, it won't sell.

When a property is accurately valuated and the agent commences marketing of the listing this creates immediate demand. The first 6 to 12 weeks are the most important when marketing a property.

The first step is to contact an agent with an extensive target market presence. Browse digital property platforms, forums, portals as well as published newspapers and magazines to best see which agents have a true understanding and footprint in the region you wish to sell. Then, similarly, use that research time to assess where your property's value is located in the market and try and scale it correctly. Not just comparing the size and location but added features also.

Agents use many accurate tools that take an array of factors into account when valuating your home. Pair this data with expert insights into the current climate of the market and trends of buyers and sellers and an agent is able to present your property to a diverse network exposing it to the right buyers.

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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Property Valuation, Harcourts Real Estate

Expect more property developments in 2019

Jan 23, 2019 6:52:46 PM Share this:

During 2018 the South African property market was under immense pressure. We saw many agents having to reinvent their strategies in an attempt to to grow their businesses. Some were also forced to evolve as the man on the street consumes information differently. However, there were certain areas that performed well, developments being one. Across the major metros developments took center stage as a lot of investment and high demand seemed to defy the downward trend of the property landscape. And without a doubt, this will continue throughout 2019.

The large scale investment injections into city living is certainly very exciting and much needed. We've seen how incredible the major commercial and residential property developments in places like the inner city of Cape Town and Johannesburg are transforming the CBDs. There is a real effort to make properties available and a effort to revitalize certain areas as well as boost already booming regions.

On the other side of the spectrum we are seeing well sought-after communities growing even more. According to reports property developers' goals are to meet the demand for housing in  areas like Sandton and surrounds. Many of these properties appeal to first-time buyers,  business executives working in the greater Sandton area as well as investors seeking an asset that will show positive appreciation and rental returns.

We expect the push to develop certain areas to continue. Especially due to the appeal of these properties. Many people view them as safer because of stringent security strategies. Also, there is often a community aspect to lifestyle estates and developments - children playing in the park and getting to know your neighbours. We've seen how the inclusion of a management body and property guidelines assist properties to have a long-term investment life.

The often overlooked aspect that certain developments bring to a community is the increased economic activity. In areas like Somerset West in Cape Town, there are developments almost the size of suburbs. This attracts commercial interest to the region, increasing employment and business growth opportunities and ensuring the local economy has a chance to grow.

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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, buying and selling, Harcourts Real Estate, Property Development

Response to mid-term budget: "It is time for action"

Jan 14, 2019 8:00:00 AM Share this:

During yesterday's mid-term budget speech by newly appointed Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, key factors putting a lot of strain on our economy were addressed in a more aggressive stance. However, the time for talk is over, and we need to see the results of policies and implementation plans otherwise economic stagnation will continue to remain a major concern. 

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Topics: Richard Gray, Finance, Financial Advice, Harcourts Real Estate

Rob Forde appointed as Harcourts Chief Operating Officer International

Nov 15, 2018 10:08:20 PM Share this:

Harcourts International has named Rob Forde as Chief Operating Officer International. Mr Forde will be responsible for leading operations and driving growth in six Harcourts territories – USA, China, Hong Kong, Canada, South Africa and Indonesia – as well as taking responsibility for Harcourts’ financial services business, Mortgage Express.

Mr Forde takes on this new role and joins the international leadership team, with tertiary qualifications in Business/International Business and leadership experience with Harcourts in both Australia and the US. Since 2015, Mr Forde has been based in the US as Regional Director of Harcourts Pacific; California, Nevada and Hawaii.

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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts International, Press relese, Harcourts Real Estate, CEO

Property industry’s reaction to Mboweni’s mini budget speech

Nov 14, 2018 10:41:38 PM Share this:
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s maiden Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) highlighted the difficult economic and global environment South Africa is currently facing.

Economic growth predictions for this year have been halved from 1,5% to 0,7%, tax collections are down, unemployment is dire and government debt is now expected to rise to 55,8% of GDP by the end of this year.

In an article by Property24, Pam Golding Chief Executive Officer Andrew Golding indicated it was “straight-talking as expected” and the minister’s medium term budget speech sought to inspire investor and market confidence in South Africa by reinforcing the five measures recently highlighted by the President in order to stimulate the economy.

“It is time for action,” said Richard Gray, CEO of Harcourts Africa, “and we need to see the results of policies and implementation plans otherwise economic stagnation will continue to remain a major concern. Of course, a concern remains that Treasury’s low growth means debt service costs will rise to 18% of all government spending in 2026 – which translates into almost R1 out of every five going towards paying off loans.”
It is imperative the minister clamps down on wasted expenditure and tries to mitigate the factors leading to drastic economic cycles that create long-lasting fluctuations, according to Gray. “The real estate market is susceptible to economic uncertainty and the minster needs to restore confidence to ensure local and foreign investors are willing to increase purchasing activity.”

Youth are our future
“Youth are the future of South Africa. From a housing perspective, extremely welcome is the announcement of R1 billion in housing subsidies to help low to middle income households gain access to affordable home loans, to enable them to acquire their own homes and achieve security of tenure as well as a nest egg for the future,” Golding said.

Industrial parks and renewable energy projects
“Also positive is the R669 million to be invested over the medium term to revitalise government-owned industrial parks in township areas, which will boost employment opportunities and hence ultimately local housing markets,” Golding said.
Against a backdrop of rising costs of electricity, renewable energy projects to be introduced are set to make a meaningful contribution to sustainability, including the construction and housing industries. “Increasingly, homeowners are embracing the principles of sustainable, ‘green’ building and retro-fits, with such features adding value and desirability to properties.”

Consumer confidence flags – but it’s a buyer’s market
Herschel Jawitz, CEO of Jawitz Properties, welcomed the message that for now taxes will not be increased, which will give cash-strapped consumers a little less to worry about, however, apart from this, there was very little news to uplift consumer confidence. “There was some better than expected news with regard to the latest inflation figures coming in at 4,9% – still within the 6% upper limit – which will stave off an interest rate increase.”
Until consumers feel better about the medium- to long-term situation in the country, the residential market will remain flat with the imbalance between supply and demand widening across almost all segments of the residential market, according to Jawitz. “There are sales to be done for sellers who are realistic about the market and what their property is really worth, but for the meantime, the residential market remains firmly a buyer’s market.”
The irony is that for buyers who are prepared to buy in the current market, it offers the best value in terms of prices since the market crash in 2008.
Golding noted that it is gratifying to hear of measures to ensure accountability in government, so that taxpayers can be assured that their hard-earned money is put to good use in infrastructural improvement, education, job creation and the agricultural sector – the latter especially relevant in terms of food security for the nation.

“We look forward to realise the potential benefits inherent in the revitalisation of public infrastructure, including road networks – so critical for the development of key transport corridors, facilitating ease of commute and access to major centres and hubs for citizens from all walks of life,” Golding said.
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Topics: Richard Gray, Budget, economical news, Harcourts Real Estate

The appeal of "Off-The-Grid" living

Nov 7, 2018 6:24:11 PM Share this:

There appears to be a renewed global interest in off-the-grid lifestyle living. And with electricity and water prices continuing to escalate one doesn't have to wonder why the appeal of this life-choice is increasing. 

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Topics: Richard Gray, Solar Power, Harcourts Real Estate, Going Green

Affordable property markets remain stable

Oct 16, 2018 11:18:56 PM Share this:

South Africans are certainly facing tough economic times and with petrol set to skyrocket by R1.01 a litre and diesel by R1.24 in October, no relief for the short term seems to be on the horizon. Real estate has felt the knock-on effects of many of these economic cycles and certain markets have been adversely affected, however one part of the sector seems to have shown far more stability, and that is affordable property.

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Topics: Richard Gray, Property Markets, South African Markets, Harcourts Real Estate