Adaptability is vital for property industry

Jan Davel, MD of the RealNet estate agency group said that 2012 could be expected to bring a continuing escalation in consumer demand for better service, better information and better value for money, in real estate as well as other economic sectors.

This would occur as the general consumer became more accustomed to legal frameworks such as the Consumer Protection Act and adapted to new ways of engaging in the property market.

"Generally speaking this will mean that ever-increasing levels of professionalism are required of estate agents, who will lose out if they don't pay attention to training and skills development on a continuous basis, or if they don't become more efficient by embracing new business practices and technologies," Davel said.

Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group, added that 2012 would also be the "tipping point" in the real estate industry when online marketing gained more traction than traditional print and other forms of advertising.

The change would be driven largely by consumers, "with home sellers becoming increasingly focused on greater exposure of their properties and the potential for faster sales, and homebuyers looking to do most of their comparative 'shopping' for the best value before they venture out to actually view any properties".

"Having said that, though, it is really not our belief that print advertising will disappear.

"Rather, we believe that 2012 will also see the property publications starting to reshape themselves to make their offerings more cost effective," said Everitt.

Another prediction by Everitt for 2012 was that estate agents would play an increasing role in co-ordinating and facilitating the essential services around real estate sales, such as compliance certificates and bridging finance.

"And once again, this will be driven by consumers, who will favour those agents and agencies able to deliver the most comprehensive and efficient service".

At the same time, he said, the increasing pressure on agents to increase both their professional qualifications and their use of technology was bound to fuel further consolidation in the industry.

"Smaller operations will find it difficult to keep up with the expenditure required to field top performing agents, and will also find it advantageous to be part of a bigger group with a wider marketing network.

Looking to the real estate market's performance, Young Carr, CEO of Aida National Franchises was "fairly positive" although he did not foresee that there would be any significant change in bank lending policies or increase in sales volumes.

Carr said: "Affordability will no doubt increase, but we do not expect this to translate into a surge in demand or home prices, as many households will still be determined to avoid any new borrowing until they have paid off much more of their existing debt."

Davel said that it would be the tendency for most households to keep a very tight rein on expenditure and new borrowing as they continue to rebuild their credit records and more importantly, lower their debt exposure.

"And we believe that there will be continued resistance to taking on new credit such as a home loan for quite some time to come - although it is important to note that real estate is always an underlying asset, unlike most of the other commodities people buy on credit," added Davel.

This resistance, Davel continued, did not bode well for expansion of the real estate market in the shorter term, despite a huge increase in the affordability of property over the past three years.

"Rather it suggests that both demand and home price growth would remain constrained, especially as there also did not appear to be any significant relaxation of bank lending criteria on the cards."

RealNet concurred with Absa, FNB and other industry commentators in expecting the rate of home price growth to remain in single digits below the rate of inflation (around 6%) for most of 2012 - except perhaps in isolated pockets of the market where specific circumstances might cause demand to suddenly exceed supply.

Davel said: "Nevertheless, we are positive that the market in 2012 will hold excellent opportunities for both long-term investors, in the form of very competitive pricing, and for those real estate professionals who are prepared to go the extra mile, because they will have a rare opportunity to significantly grow market share.

"We also believe that the current rebuilding of household balance sheets will be extremely positive for the market in the longer term, as it will enable consumers to better withstand future economic 'shocks' such as interest rate increases," concluded Davel.

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 23 Feb 2018
      RE/MAX Property Associates’ Table View Office, which services property buyers and sellers along the Table Bay coastline and surrounds, has recently sold a home in Woodbridge Island for R11 million – the highest price paid for any home in the sought-after security complex.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      Choosing to invest in an overseas property can be daunting. But as more and more investors recognise the value of a diversified portfolio that includes property outside of their own country of residence, international property investment is growing in popularity.
    • 23 Feb 2018
      The positive change in South Africa’s political landscape is paving the way for an upswing in the local property market.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      An excellent credit score is one of the most priceless assets a potential home buyer can have. This tool has the power to secure favorable mortgage and refinancing rate, influencing everything from the size of the loan repayment to the interest rate on the home loan.
    • 22 Feb 2018
      What do you do if you love your home’s location and the area, but the home no longer fits your growing family’s needs? Do you stay and renovate your existing home or find a home that meets your developing criteria?
    • 22 Feb 2018
      While every owner wants to sell their property at the best possible price, overpricing a home can be the kiss of death for a sale.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      Given the hand they were dealt, government has performed a delicate balancing act which it is hoped will serve to reignite confidence in investment in South Africa, regain our global credibility and satisfy the credit ratings agencies, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.
    • 21 Feb 2018
      The real estate mantra, ‘location, location, location’ remains a strong market influence regardless of the prevailing economy, with suburbs like Rondebosch enjoying the buffering benefit of being ideally situated.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us