Cape Town – Conditions in the current property market are creating a window of opportunity for first-time buyers putting homes in their sights that would have been  impossible to finance a year ago, according to Adrian Goslett, Assistant Regional Director - RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
“It’s a perfect alignment of the elements for first-time home buyers.  All four major banks have relaxed their lending criteria, various companies have entered the market with innovative services where bargains can be picked up and we’ve had a sequence of interest rate cuts.”
Goslett says all of these factors are definitely a sign of the resuscitation of the housing market, and that first-time home buyers are the segment of the market that should benefit the most.
“All four banks have relaxed their credit lending policies – Absa, Standard Bank, Nedbank and First National Bank have announced 100% finance on homes over the last few weeks.  Absa is also offering 110% loans to prospective buyers with a monthly household income of up to R11 000.
“This year we’ve seen the arrival of several real estate auction services in the market. The benefit for prospective first-time buyers is an assembly of great bargains, more specifically properties that have been repossessed or those in a distressed sale situation - in some instances properties can be purchased for less than 30% of the value.  .
“Over the past eight months, interest rates have dropped by a total of 5%.  The result is that buyer affordability has increased which has opened the market up to a wider consumer audience.”
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