The green shoots and blossoms of spring are a reflection of the green shoots that are being felt in the property market in various residential areas across South Africa. One such area that is picking up well is the Southern Suburbs in Cape Town where sales over recent months have been showing year-on-year improvements and it appears to be turning faster than the Atlantic Seaboard.
According to Hayley Vann-Herbert, Sales Manager of Jawitz Properties Southern Suburbs, the opportunity to buy or sell is now! “There are serious buyers out there at the moment who are wanting to purchase in better areas, whether to upsize or downscale. Now is definitely the time to buy as in market terms, the percentage difference in prices between various suburbs is currently low. This gap will grow again once the market picks up, so if you want to move up the property ladder, now is the time to do so,” says Vann-Herbert.
The time to buy is now
Despite the challenging economy and low business confidence, Herschel Jawitz, CEO of Jawitz Properties, believes that real property buyers and sellers aren’t affected by these factors. To bolster this opinion, banks and financial lenders have been offering preferential lending rates, increased levels of bond approvals and 100% bonds have made a comeback. “The perception that banks are part of the challenging market is wrong. Lending rates and approvals are the best they have been since 2008. A sluggish residential market means the banks are a lot more competitive now than they have been with new lending products coming onto the market,” says Jawitz.
Jawitz Properties’ Southern Suburbs figures are reflecting double and close to triple percentage increases in the sale of free-standing homes and sectional title properties compared to 2018, with sectional title homes leading the figures in number of units and overall turnover. These figures do speak to an increase in sentiment in the residential property market but Vann-Herbert also believes it’s as a result of their pricing strategies and the manner in which they work with their clients.
The time to consider selling is now
Even with the ever-present green shoots, Vann-Herbert says sellers are still holding on and waiting for the market to turn to the highs of two years ago. “It will take time, at least a year, for the market to turn noticeably, but it’s important for sellers to note that they too will be looking to reinvest in the same market when buying low, and at the same time upgrade to a larger home or better suburb.
“I believe there are two reasons why sellers should consider selling now. Firstly, if you sell now and invest the money, your return over twelve months in a fixed deposit account will be greater than the increased value of your property if you sell when the market eventually turns in any significant way. Secondly, if you’re a cash buyer, your bargaining power when buying your next property is much greater, as cash is king,” explains Vann-Herbert.
Sellers need to weigh up the costs of hanging on to their homes and waiting for the unrealistic high prices of years ago to return. “There are positives and negatives in any market but I honestly believe we’re at a point where both buyers and sellers can take advantage of the current property market to make gains and set themselves up for future success,” concludes Vann-Herbert.