Up, Up And Away Go House Prices!

Private Property South Africa
Justin Clarke

You wish… but there’s lots of positive noise for those of us obsessed with property. If you are looking for a sign to buy property, see the billboards! Sure, there is conflicting opinion out there and there will always be debate, but let’s be honest - there is broad opinion to suggest that we are at the lowest point. The big thing with property investment is timing, so we don’t really want to have long periods where house prices stay flat.

But new data looks promising. Lightstone released their property indices today, and they show “house prices are actually now on a modest upward trend”. After bottoming out during the beginning of 2009 the Lightstone House Price Index, which tracks the month on month house prices was up 0.24% from March to April. “This continues the positive trend we have been monitoring since January and appears to confirm that recent house price growth has moved out of negative into modest positive territory”

They also now show the average house price inflation at 0%, which is incredible if you consider the collapse seen in international property markets.

That doesn’t mean that some homeowners have not had considerable pain. Average discounts for forced sales have increased and homes have been selling at discounts from 25% up to as much as 50%. This will not necessarily continue and as a senior executive from one of the banks put it, “We are going to have to take in and hold property, rather than give it away and take the losses”.

The affordable and mid-value properties are performing well this month and according to Lightstone, “showing positive annual inflation this month, with the Affordable market reaching highest inflation numbers across all segments at 17%. Even in the Luxury and High Value segments, which are still negative year on year, the trend is upward.”

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