Property market up despite weak economy

2014-09-11 00:00

THERE was a significant pick-up in the property market last year and the momentum has carried through this year, said Samuel Seeff, chairperson of Seeff Property Services.

Seeff was speaking at an event at the Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga on Tuesday. Seeff is a leading estate agent brand and although it is 50 years old this year, it first entered the KZN market in 1994.

He said there had been a significant increase in buyer demand in KwaZulu-Natal in the past year, with 90% of the demand coming in the below-R5 million house price market segment.

Seeff said he expected property prices nationally to continue rising this year, just not at the rate of the peak in the property cycle in 2005 and 2006, and this would likely be driven by stock shortages across every sector of the market, from low income to luxury homes.

Buyer activity in the R10 million and up home category had doubled, in spite of the weak economy. Seeff attributed this to pent-up demand from 2007-2013, a period where demand in this segment in the market appeared to have dried up.

Most of the new out-of-town buyers in KwaZulu-Natal were from Johannesburg and Pretoria, said Seeff.

Foreign buyers accounted for three to four percent of residential home sales market value nationally at present, slightly up from two percent post the 2007-2008 recession but lower than the five percent during the peak of the property cycle in 2006. Seeff said 60% of the foreign buyers were from the UK and Europe, but an increasing number were from other African countries.

He said the rental market was also relatively strong.

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