Good buys in homes market

2011-08-05 00:00

DESPITE talk of the so-called death of the residential property market, there is still life left in this key sector.

Property heavyweights and a respected property economist have noted that although activity remains subdued, demand strength is evident in certain categories of the market.

Seeff chairperson Samuel Seeff noted this week that although the market is depressed, it is not dead.

“The market is moving slowly and prices are under pressure, but there is still activity,” Seeff commented.

“While the winter months are historically a time of lower trading volumes, this is a good time for smart buyers, especially first-time buyers and those looking to buy up or acquire investment properties to get their hands on excellently priced stock in the market.”

FNB property strategist John Loos said yesterday that relative demand strength is apparent in lower-income areas, categorised by properties valued at about R600 000.

Respondents to the FNB home-buying estate agent survey for the second quarter of 2011 were relatively upbeat about the prospects of this segment of the market. Responses for the lower-income end of the market rated demand strength at 6,21 out of 10, compared with levels of between 5,35 (high net-worth areas) and 5,97 (middle-income areas) recorded in other segments.

More first-time buyers have also entered the market this year.

Furthermore, Loos said, the middle-income sector of the buyer-profile is currently in the best financial shape.

Much has also been made of the fact that real house prices, as judged by FNB and Standard Bank, are falling to the tune of between 1,5% and 1,8%.

Adrian Goslett, CEO of real estate giant REMAX of southern Africa, said statistics are vitally important for investors and that proper analysis is required in order to determine the value of a property.

“Property buyers would want to know whether they are making a wise investment choice, and this can only be decided once they have researched and obtained the actual numbers and undertaken a comparative analysis with regard to pricing and types of properties that have been sold in a specific area,” said Goslett.

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