RE/MAX winter sales volumes show solid increase

Property sales are expected to rise as we move into the warmer seasons, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, who explains that the winter season normally brings with it cold weather and a general slowdown in the property market, however Goslett says that RE/MAX of Southern Africa posted remarkable winter sales figures in 2012.

Essentially, seasonality refers to the change in sales volumes and prices during the same calendar period when compared on a year-to-year basis. Very often certain seasons reveal a similar pattern or direction in the sales figure numbers. Goslett says that this is generally caused by factors that occur on a regular basis during those calendar periods such as changes in weather or school terms and holidays.

According to Goslett there are a few reasons why some seasons reflect higher sales volumes than others. One factor is that families looking to relocate will generally only move once the school is complete, allowing children to start in a new school at the beginning of the year. Spring also brings an increase in activity as students going to university in the new year look for accommodation, and those who have completed their last year of study move away. “With many people on holiday during December, the seasonal increase in activity doesn’t slow, it simply shifts focus to the coastal regions,” notes Goslett.

Understanding the impact of seasonal change on the property market can be an advantage to buyers and sellers, helping them to make more informed decisions. For example, sellers considering taking a property off the market just before the summer holidays could miss a window of sales opportunity given the upswing in interest during this time. On the other side of the coin, buyers may also find better deals if they are buying outside of the seasonally high demand periods, especially when looking to purchase property in coastal regions.

However, Goslett points out that over the last four years, comparing RE/MAX of Southern Africa year-on year statistics, winter period sales increased by 32.54% from 2009 to 2010. They stayed approximately level to the 2010 figures during 2011, and then increased by a further 22% from 2011 to 2012. When compared with winter sales during 2009, the 2012 figures are 47.21% higher, proving a remarkable increase of activity in the market over the past four winter seasons.

“While the overall trend has been remarkably positive during the first quarter of this year, with all regions across the country showing an overall increase of 11% in house sales, the regional winter sales statistics speak for themselves.” Goslett notes that from 2009 to 2012, Limpopo winter sales figures have increased by 60.82%, Gauteng by 58.86%, Eastern Cape by 53.42%, North West by 47.67%, Northern Cape by 46.06%, Free State by 39.29%, Western Cape by 38.19% and KwaZulu-Natal by 38.52%.

“Despite influences of seasonality and other market factors, it is essential for buyers and sellers to maintain a long-term perspective when it comes to the immediate state of a specific property sector. While seasons may have their impact on the market, property continues to perform well as a wealth-building asset class over the long term,” Goslett concludes.

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