Greater price 'realism' in SA property market

There has been a shift towards greater price "realism" in the residential property market, with the estimated time homes were on the market before being sold declining significantly in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter.

John Loos, a household and property sector analyst at FNB, said a picture of early market strengthening appeared to be emerging based on the first quarter decline in the average time homes for sale remained on the market before being sold, together with certain other indicators.

But Loos stressed the key to residential market strengthening was how political and policy events unfolded this year in the run-up to the ANC's elective conference in December.

Loos said the improvement in economic conditions were reflected in the recent rising trends in the composite leading business cycle indicator for South Africa, which should impact positively on housing demand.

"But political volatility and the ever-present threat of ratings downgrades for South Africa can change this improving economic scenario very quickly, should it exert significant downward pressure on investor confidence and the rand.

"A sharply weaker rand, should it happen, could mean a resumption of interest rate hiking due to an increase in imported price inflation," he pointed out.

Loos stressed this was not FNB's base case and the bank's most likely scenario was for unchanged interest rates throughout this calendar year.

"But these are risks to that forecast," he warned.

FNB revealed that the average estimated time that a home remained on the market before being sold dropped to 13 weeks and four days in the first quarter from 15 weeks in the fourth quarter of last year.

Loos said that often, in times of market weakness, part of the weakness was reflected in a longer average time that it took to sell a home, while homes were expected to trade at a faster rate, and for the average time of homes remaining on the market before being sold to decline when there were residential home supply constraints relative to demand.

He added that during tougher economic times, along with rising interest rates, the residential market often moved away from market equilibrium prices because of resistance by home sellers to drop their price, resulting in home prices becoming less realistic relative to demand.

Loos said residential demand appeared to be showing small signs of the market strengthening, with FNB's residential market activity indicator increasing for the past two sectors.

He said they believed this was partly attributable to some increase in residential demand early this year.

There was also possibly a small increase in residential supply constraints, with the percentage of estate agents citing residential stock constraints as an issue, rising to 12 percent in the first quarter of this year from the 6.7 percent low in the third quarter of last year.

Loos said a further indicator of residential asking price realism was the estimated percentage of sellers who were required to reduce their asking price to make the sale.

This percentage remained high at 90 percent of sellers and they had not yet seen any decline in this percentage.

| business report |

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 19 Jan 2018
      Extending from Randfontein in the west to Roodepoort in the east and including the towns of Krugersdorp and Magaliesburg, the West Rand has a plethora of property available to residents who choose to make this unique area their home.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      When it comes to financial planning, doing the work to ensure you’re prepared for unexpected emergencies is just as important as ticking off your other goals and New Year’s resolutions. The beginning of the year is also the perfect time to review your various insurance policies.
    • 19 Jan 2018
      No surprises at the first Monetary Policy Committee of 2018, as Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, announced that the interest rates would stay at their current levels.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      The Southern Suburbs make up some of the most popular residential areas in Cape Town, comprising charming groups of suburbs which lie to the south-east of the slopes of Table Mountain. It is seen as the city's most expensive residential neighbourhoods with a choice of various private schools, upmarket eateries, wine estates, beautiful homes and trendy apartments.
    • 18 Jan 2018
      New year, new goals! If you’ve resolved to purchase your first property in 2018, then this 6-step guide from the Rawson Property Group is a must-read. It will help you navigate and simplify what is often be seen as a confusing process of buying your first home – right from the house-hunt to the house-warming.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      While the current property market may still favour buyers, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be well prepared before putting in an offer to purchase.
    • 17 Jan 2018
      Lightstone lists Blair Atholl as the most expensive suburb with an average house price of R11.2 million, followed by Westcliff (R10.5 million), Dunkeld (R9.3 million), Sandhurst (R9.1 million) and Inanda (R7.2 million).
    • 17 Jan 2018
      As it currently stands, there are four main ways in which a home can be bought in South Africa, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who adds that deciding in which legal entity to purchase the property is not a decision that should be entered into lightly, as each has its pros and cons.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us