Why now is a good time to buy property

It has undoubtedly been a buyer’s market in South Africa for the past few years with excellent conditions for those wanting to invest in property, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.  

He notes there have been a number of opportunities for buyers since the recession, with higher numbers of inventory in the market and property prices in many areas becoming more affordable. However, with a growing number of sales transactions and some areas experiencing a lack of stock, the proverbial tables seem to be turning to suit sellers. This means that buyers who still want to take advantage of favourable conditions and pricing will need to move relatively quickly. Goslett give some reasons why now is a good time to purchase property:
Home prices are rising

“Conditions are still really good for buyers, but it is not likely to stay like this indefinitely, especially with house prices in many areas already at levels seen during the boom or higher. Although prices are only expected to grow by single digit percentages this year and possibly next, the fact still remains that they are indeed on an upward trend that is not likely to change. The rising prices are good for both sellers and buyers, as sellers will see higher profit margins and buyers will see the value of their home grow from day one,” says Goslett. 
He notes that as price is a significant consideration for buyers when purchasing a property, by taking the leap now, buyers are giving themselves the best chance to get their hands on a starter home or upgrade to something bigger.
Low interest rates and higher chance of bond approval

Another reason why now is currently a good time to purchase a property is the fact that interest rates are remarkably low and banks are relaxing their criteria and becoming marginally less risk averse. “The last time the interest rate was at its current level was over 30 years ago, which means that a large majority of potential homebuyers have never seen the interest rate this low in their lifetime,” says Goslett. “This, along with the fact that the percentage of loan application approvals has seen an increase, is an excellent reason for buyers to realise their aspirations of owning a home.”
Emerging new construction

With stronger demand in the market and inventory stocks depleting among existing homes, opportunity will re-emerge for the construction of more homes and developments, giving buyers further options. Buyers who are reluctant to participate in the current market will still see viable property options in the future, although potentially at a higher cost.
“When looking at the property market, it is important that buyers don’t just focus on what is happening now, but also look forward to what is likely to happen and the next phase of the market, which will help with the decision making process.  Regardless of what is happening in the market, historically real estate has proven to be a good investment for the long term and with good research and savvy choices, this can be everybody’s market,” Goslett concludes.

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