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Is WhatsApp changing real estate?

Jul 31, 2019 9:35:16 PM Share this:

As new technologies and improved systems are perpetually introduced into our modern business environments, innovations in client communication is undoubtedly at the forefront of this rapid evolution. The real estate industry has experienced a flurry of new concepts and advancements in the past year especially with regards to agents having to incorporate real time communication tools into their daily practices.


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Topics: Technology, Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, Real Estate

Interest rate cut: The break SA consumers need

Jul 22, 2019 5:37:54 PM Share this:

Harcourts South Africa welcomes the announcement by the South African Reserve Bank that interest rates will be cut by 25 basis points. This is the first easing in policy in over a year and in a time when many South Africans are feeling the pressure this comes as welcomed relief. Especially considering that many economists are predicting another cut later in the year.


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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, Interest Rates, South African Markets

Rental market gains momentum as financial pressure property sales increase

Jul 19, 2019 7:02:10 PM Share this:

According to the latest FNB Property Barometer Survey data shows that “Downscaling because of life stage” dominates as the most prominent reason for selling a property in SA, with such sales accounting for 23% of all sales in 2Q19, the same as in 1Q19.  However, what is most concerning is that “Downscaling due to financial pressure” has become increasingly prominent in the past year; the estimated proportion of such sales jumped to 19% in 2Q19 from 16% in 1Q19.


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Topics: Richard Gray, buying and selling, Financial Advice, Harcourts Real Estate

President's SONA inspires but lacks detail

Jul 12, 2019 11:27:46 PM Share this:

President Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation address in Parliament yesterday and outlined seven priorities and five goals whilst acknowledging that due to financial constraints government would not be able to deliver “everything at one time”. In the real estate sector, the economy has played a major role in activity and commitment and we're excited that the President is prioritising economic growth and hope for strategic and continued implementation.

Overall there was a positive sentiment in the President's remarks and we applaud his vision of modern, high tech cities with world-leading public transport and believe we should all get behind the vision to make it happen. The President said that he wants to reduce data costs and that to be internationally competitive, the high cost of doing business and complicated and lengthy regulatory processes must be addressed in South Africa and that new companies should be able to be registered within a day.

It is crucial South Africa leads the way on the continent for innovation in business and technology in order for us to improve growth and long term sustainability. The President implored everyone to buy local products to boost local production. The President said that within the next year, the government hopes to conclude agreements with retailers to stock more South African goods on their shelves to actively promote South African products.

The attention the President paid to the economy and our crisis among youth unemployment, which is now at 50%, was a breath of fresh air as acknowledging our problems is imperative when trying to alleviate them.

There were certainly pertinent issues we wanted the President to detail but he failed to do so, especially on the land issue. It seemed that state-owned land would be targeted first.  Ramaphosa explained that the state will accelerate efforts to identify and release public land that is suitable for smart, urban settlements and farming. Explaining that the panel’s recommendations will inform the finalisation of a comprehensive, far-reaching and transformative land reform programme.

We expect more clarity on the recent report of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, which will now be presented to Cabinet for consideration.

It is interesting that he was clear that it is not just farmland, but the need to ensure that land in urban areas is also made available. The President believes while the government have made great progress in providing housing, many South Africans still need land to build homes and earn livelihoods. In the next five years, he plans to accelerate the provision of well-located housing and land to poor South Africans. 

The President's plans cannot be faulted and his plans are inspiring, we just hope he is able to implement these strategies effectively and take our country forward. Statement by


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Topics: Richard Gray, Harcourts South Africa, Real Estate, SONA Speech

Why people sold property in 2019’s first quarter

Apr 30, 2019 10:23:26 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 9:24:48 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 South Africa, Harcourts International, Real Estate Agents, Harcourts Growth

Hermanus property market attracting a wide range of interest

Apr 11, 2019 8:04:34 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, Property Investment, Harcourts Real Estate, Harcourts Hermanus

Price your property to sell in the current market

Jan 23, 2019 7:09:19 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

Buying in an unstable economy

Mar 8, 2016 5:22:30 PM Share this:

Planning to buy a home usually takes a long term strategy, with many buyers having to either save for a deposit, assess affordability or scout for the perfect property to call home. Then when the time finally comes and the country’s economy seems to be unstable - interest rates are higher, banks are implementing stricter lending criteria, doomsayers are warning against long term investments, buyers could be caught in a funnel of information and be left confused and unnecessarily wary.


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Topics: Buying, Richard Gray, Harcourts, Salary, Finance, Money, Debt Consolidation