Comment on budget speech

Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby's International Realty in SA, says: "Today's Budget holds out excellent prospects for the speedy improvement of the real estate market and the sustainability of that recovery.

"The most important macro aspects include Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's strong stance, re-iterated throughout his speech, against corruption and financial mismanagement which, together with the fact that he has managed to contain the expected Budget deficit this year to 4,4%, will undoubtedly boost the investor confidence that is the lifeblood of the economy - and of the property sector.

"Also critically important are the R845bn allocation to various new infrastructure projects and the increased spending on existing public works, community works, and rural development programmes, as these are set not only to create thousands of new jobs - and new home buyers - but to raise the management capacity of SA."

Of more immediate benefit, he says, will be the new housing subsidy scheme to be implemented through the provincial administations, which will see those who earn between R3500 and R15 000 a month able to access subsidies of up to R85 000. "This will give the lower end of the market much needed impetus and no doubt have a positive knock-on effect."
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