The most recent property barometer reviews in specific areas and price brackets reveal that estate agents are becoming more positive about a future turnaround in the SA residential property market. This increased optimism stems from actual agency figures in specific property spectrums that reflect a growth in number of sales, and stats that show certain property prices aren’t nosediving but are instead maintaining their value.
“All we hear is doom and gloom and, yes, the market is challenging , but there are definitely reasons to be optimistic and it is exciting working through these times. It is just a matter of adapting the way we work and maintaining the right attitude” says Lolly Unterslak, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties Atlantic Seaboard.
Lolly says that entry-level priced properties on the Atlantic Seaboard market, which encompasses sectional title properties priced at R4.5m and below, seem to be turning over nicely with sales by unit figures being on par with last year. “The period between listing and selling is longer than before – 90 days in the 1st quarter of 2019 compared to 56 days in early 2018 – but we’re finding that other than this, we’re trading within normal parameters compared to last year, and if anything, all the ‘doom and gloomers’ are having a positive effect on wise investors who are taking advantage of excellent buying opportunities!”
Seen as the more affordable part of the residential property market in the Atlantic Seaboard, sectional title properties priced at R4.5m and under are continuing to attract 1st time buyers, who are qualifying for bonds due to the more lenient lending criteria from banks, as well as buy-to-let investors and, surprisingly, a few more holiday home shoppers are back in the market since their disappearance during the drought.
“You can still get value for your money in this market and we’re seeing some good buys out there at the moment. With rentals so high in this area, buyers are realising that, in some cases, buying a property makes more financial sense than renting. If they buy a smaller apartment in an older block that has reasonable levies, they can end up paying the same for a bond as they would for monthly rental,” explains Juan Basson, Jawitz Properties Atlantic Seaboard Property Consultant.
Lolly Unterslak, who has been in the residential property industry for 30+ years, has teamed up with Juan Basson to provide the best possible service and guidance to clients in the R4.5m and under sectional title segment of the market. “In all the years that I’ve been in property, this is the 3rd major up and down cycle that I’ve been through and I know it will improve. Growth has historically been in the double digits in this area and at the moment that growth rate has slowed down, however what you lose on the swings…you gain on the roundabouts, and there are fantastic opportunities for sellers upgrading in this market too,” concludes Lolly.