While many may be apprehensive about venturing into South Africa’s property market, the prevailing ‘buyer’s market’ may be the perfect opportunity for you to stake your claim on your dream home. The difference between ‘buying the perfect home’ and ‘buying the perfect home at the perfect price’ may just come down to perfect timing.
Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate, believes that the real estate industry is cyclical.
“While you may not necessarily feel as comfortable in one phase of the cycle as you do in another, it pays to ride it out and adopt a long-term view. The one constant in life and the real estate market is change. While we may be in a buyer’s market at the moment you may feel that time is on your side, but there is bound to be a rise in asking prices after the National Elections,” says Greeff.
“You may be experiencing uncertainty about the timing of the purchase, waiting for the price to drop or even be waiting for a sign to tell you that it is the right time to buy. I can safely say that the time to buy is now.”
According to Greeff, the Western Cape and Cape Town, in particular, has been the mainstay of the South African real estate sector for decades. The consistent demand both locally and internationally has kept prices buoyant and has made property in the region an investment that is safe as houses. The Western Cape’s real estate outlook is expected to strengthen post-elections, with predictions of renewed optimism as well as increased foreign investment. The combination of these factors is foreseen as the upward driver of selling prices.
CEO of BetterBond, Rudi Botha, believes that the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged will translate to banks being more willing to lend. The stable interest rates will also mean that home loan seekers or prospective homeowners should look to get pre-approved and make the move to buy before the expected selling price escalation post-elections. Even a small rate difference that you secure now will save you significantly over the lifespan of the bond.
While there has been talk in the media about declining markets and the slowing economy, Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate’s revenue figures show that the Cape property market is still holding its own, and while certain areas have experienced modest dips in average selling prices, most industry experts feel that this is temporary.
A more significant point to note is that certain areas have recorded significant year-on-year growth, according to statistics obtained from Propstats. The Constantiaberg as a whole recorded a 5.8% rise in average selling price, Constantia Upper rose by 6.8%, while the Bergvliet region grew by 2%.
While the current property market may appear uncertain to the untrained eye, Greeff Christie’s International Real Estate is of the belief that the situation is temporary and would like to encourage prospective buyers to take full advantage of the opportunity and invest. The opportunity to buy at a lower than usual price may be there for the taking and is an astute investment strategy.