ooba: Signs of Recovery in Property Market

Private Property South Africa
SA Realtors

ooba said today that there were definite signs that the property market slump was coming to an end with data pointing to early signs of a market recovery.

“ooba has seen a 36% increase in home loans approved from April 2009 to August 2009,” says Saul Geffen, chief executive of ooba.

“In each month from April to August we have seen the first consecutive monthly increases in application volumes since May 2007.”
Geffen said that ooba had also experienced a surge in the number of home loan applications over the same period.

Since May 2007 the property market has experienced a slowdown due to a combination of factors which include the high price of debt, the introduction of the National Credit Act and banks tightening up their lending policies.

This has been exacerbated by the sub-prime crisis, the global liquidity crisis that followed this and the current global economic slowdown.

“One of the biggest drivers of a market recovery is bank lending and recently we have seen an improvement in competitiveness between the banks over the past four months and a marked increase in approval rates across the board,” says Geffen.

Banks’ move to relax deposit requirements is a positive for prospective homebuyers and for the property market. Over the past 4 months, the major lenders have begun to relax lending criteria, including deposit requirements.

“Banks are now targeting non-bank clients and rate concessions are becoming more aggressive.”

Geffen believes that easier lending, coupled with improved affordability thanks to lower interest rates, has helped kick start the property market in South Africa.

“We have seen an improvement in the performance in ooba’s mortgage origination business over the last four months with consistent increases in volumes and we expect continued positive results going forward.”

Both the USA and UK property market have recently shown improvements in housing prices.

The UK housing prices rose for the fourth month in a row during August according to Nationwide, the UK’s largest building society and US indicated the first monthly rise in house prices since 2006 according to the Standard & Poor's/Case Shiller index of home prices.

“We believe that the worst is behind us and that the property market is on the road to recovery.”


Article courtesy of SA Realtors on Facebook, and was released on behalf of ooba.

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