Rapidly changing South African demographics make adaptability a prime requisite for today's estate agents

Right now is an excellent time for Gauteng and Tshwane home owners to be putting their homes on the market, says David Jacobs, the Rawson Property Group’s Regional Manager for South Africa’s northern regions and KwaZulu-Natal.

“All the major inland cities of South Africa,” said Jacobs, “are now experiencing an almost unprecedented rise in demand for homes - and this will definitely work to the sellers’ advantage.”

The new trend, he said, is particularly strong in the R300,000 to R1,2 million price bracket but is also evident elsewhere. Even in the higher price brackets, there is now evidence of renewed interest.

The demand is fuelled by a whole variety of stimuli and these are, said Jacobs, not necessarily, related to economic or political trends but rather to three other clearly identifiable factors.

“These are, firstly, the rising incomes in the black middle class, secondly, a massive slow-down in the delivery rate of new units from property developers, and, thirdly, and equally important, the long period in which interest rates have been at historically low levels.”

Already, said Jacobs, about half of Gauteng’s estate agencies are beginning to experience stock shortages and are having to spend more effort canvassing for stock. This, however, means that sellers can now be more confident of achieving a quicker sale.

The estate agencies which are benefitting most from the new trends, added Jacobs, are those which, like the Rawson Property Group, have identified them and are running on-going training to equip their agents to thrive in the new scenario.

“The successful agent today is the one who can adapt to any situation and who can successfully work with all income groups and in all racial and cultural environments,” said Jacobs.

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