Increasing upper bracket action taking place in the property marketing sector

On-going reports in South Africa’s property media to the effect that upper middle and upper bracket housing is regaining its sought after status have been confirmed by the Rawson Property Group’s General Manager for Operations Support, Jonathan Douglas.

Figures recently released by Douglas indicate that the latest year-on-year Rawson Property Group turnover in the housing price brackets between R3 million and R4,5 million has increased very significantly, due to increased demand from private buyers as well as investors, with the latter group having grown the fastest.

The group’s turnover has risen noticeably in the following brackets:

- R3 million to R3,5 million – up by 30,3%
- R3,5 million to R4 million – up by 52,3%
- R4 million to R4,5 million – up by 62,2%

Douglas commented that, although his figures are an indication that the group’s declared aim of securing a bigger share of the upper middle and upper bracket markets is being realised, they also show that sales in the upper brackets are improving countrywide. This, he said, is particularly evident in the shorter times being taken to achieve sales in these brackets.

The Rawson Property Group’s figures have also indicated a decrease in the discount between the asking and achieved prices, which again seems to be a countrywide trend.

The Western Cape is leading the increase in the R3 million to R3,5 million and R4 million to R4,5 million brackets, while the group’s Northern Region (Gauteng, North West, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga) is driving the growth in the R3,5 million to R4 million and the above R5 million brackets.

In the above R5 million category, added Douglas, there has also been a very big upswing in turnover – the Rawson figures show a 107,8% increase here.  Nevertheless, he said, it is still too early to claim that this figure is indicative of the market as a whole because the figures here tend to fluctuate very radically month-by-month.

Taking these figures into account along with the latest Monetary Policy Committee statement issued on interest rates and the current performance of South Africa’s economy and other macro-economic data, Douglas expects that the increases in house prices will probably slow from the growth levels experienced in the first seven months of this year, but will nevertheless continue.

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