Dr Andrew Golding comments on the repo rate and the residential property market

While inflationary concerns and global economic impacts remain in the spotlight, the Monetary Policy Committee’s stance to increase the repo rate stable was unexpected, particularly given the sluggish economic growth currently experienced in South Africa, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

Despite this, the residential property market continues to reflect increasingly positive market sentiment and activity, fuelled by the fact that the market – including both buyers and sellers – has realigned itself in accordance with current trading conditions and the more exacting bank lending conditions required of purchasers.

“Despite the challenges facing the economy, there are a number of positive factors evident in the residential property market. From a Pam Golding Properties’ perspective we are seeing a growing readiness and appetite among buyers to commit to purchase decisions. While deposits of some 10-20 percent are generally the order of the day, as far as the mortgages are concerned, bank lending criteria in certain categories of prospective homeowners have eased to some extent. Furthermore, the natural ebb and flow of movement in the market has resumed, as people go about their lives and business and enter into property transactions as their situations or lifestyles change for a variety of reasons.”

Dr Golding says while sellers in general are more receptive to ensuring that their properties are realistically priced in order to sell, some areas, mainly in major metropolitan centres, are enjoying a high demand, resulting in stock shortages.

“Today’s busy and demanding way of life is revealing distinct trends evident among home buyers and sellers. The desire for security, convenience and modern, easy-maintenance homes is driving a strong demand for sectional title living in nodes which offer easy access to the workplace and all amenities, as well as a demand for homes in appealing, gated estates.

“Conversely, it is also resulting in a steady demand among those seeking a change in lifestyle – which may ultimately precipitate either a permanent relocation to a slower-paced lifestyle in a more rural setting in the country. Or it may prompt the acquisition of a second, leisure home in order to enjoy quality family time on weekend getaways and holidays in a broad range of locations, perhaps with a view to relocation in the future, for retirement or simply a different way of life.”

On a further positive note, Dr Golding says Pam Golding Properties observes that developers continue to enter the market, with products designed and geared to suit market requirements in popular locations.

“Our group sales across regions around the country continue to increase steadily, reflecting a growth in units of approximately 20 percent year on year, as was the case the previous year. We are also experiencing increased activity in the higher end of the market, from R20 million upwards. We remain optimistic about the performance of the residential property market in 2014,” he adds.

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