Property market holding its breath for Mangaung decisions

Amid all the news coverage about the leadership battle going on in the ANC and who is likely to be elected at the party’s Mangaung conference this month, it is easy to forget that the delegates will also be discussing and making policy on other extremely important issues.

“And while all of these issues will have an impact, to a greater or lesser extent, on the lives of most South Africans, a few are of particular relevance to the real estate market, where they could cause rapid and far-reaching changes,” says Berry Everitt, MD of the Chas Everitt International property group.

“We all know, for example, that job creation is absolutely essential if the housing market is to show any real expansion. Unemployed people can’t buy homes, and in fact, often can’t even afford to rent homes, which also puts a lid on buy-to-let investment.

“On the other hand, if the conference is sincere in its support for the National Development Plan and successful in reaching agreement on what specific actions must be taken to achieve job creation – such as implementing more infrastructure development plans, or perhaps making things easier for the entrepreneurial businesses that create the most jobs – we can look forward to a steadily growing property market.”

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he says that from the real estate point of view, other issues which urgently need resolution are the much-debated nationalisation or part-nationalisation of the mines, “and of course what plan will be followed to achieve the ANC’s land redistribution goals without shrinking the country’s food security”.

It is the current lack of clarity on these issues, he says,that is seriously sapping the confidence now of both local and foreign investors, and preventing them from committing the funds that are so necessary in order for the economy to grow and for businesses of all sorts to flourish and, once again, create more jobs.

“In short, everyone involved in the property market should be taking a keen interest in Mangaung and hoping that it really proves to be much more than an election of ANC office-bearers or another talkshop.

“What we need are clear and detailed plans of how policy is to be turned into reality.”

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