Unfortunately for sellers, it continues to be a market leaning toward the buyer, with FNB’s property barometer showing that while prices continue to drop, buyers are getting their biggest home loans in a decade.
More supply, of course, equals more choice. And with prices continuing to drop – and home loans trending in the opposite direction – buyers will have more to choose from – meaning sellers will need to ensure they price their properties correctly. With this in mind, expect more data-driven pricing on the market as an incorrect pricing could have a property sitting for far longer than it should.
Experts agree that with finances tightening, buyers will be looking for value-for-money buys and with supply high, it makes it a competitive market for those looking to sell.
“It’s a competitive market and buyers really do have the ability to pick and choose, so pricing is essential,” says Simony Santos of The Agency Property Group.
“The only way to do that is by hiring experienced agents that have the tools to not only provide a comparative market analysis but also the experience and knowledge of the area to provide an accurate valuation.
Another trend to look out for is the continued semigration (people moving from other parts of the country to the Western Cape), with some experts believing that many semigrants that initially rented in the province will soon be looking to buy property, now that they have officially settled in Cape Town.
“We know that the semigration trend slowed a bit over the past 24 months with the water crisis, but we are seeing it pick up again, with some of the earlier renters starting to take advantage of the buyers’ market and buy property in Cape Town,” says Lynn Pinn.
“Cape Town will always be an attractive option for semigration and I believe this trend will continue.”
South African issues such as load shedding and water constraints are also seen as factors in the local industry. While water scarcity may be seen as a global concern, there is little doubt that the spectre of load shedding – for the moment at least – is a uniquely South African issue and as such could lead to a localised trend.
Experts are seeing a shift towards green housing – houses equipped with energy and water-saving features – with these houses not only cheaper to run, but also capable of saving the owner in loss of productivity on the home front.
“We all know that load shedding is not going away anytime soon and houses that have generators or are built to save electricity – or provide their own – are very much in demand. Buildings with their own generators are also a lot more desirable and appealing to buyers, while homes that are more sustainable are certainly a trend we will see continuing, particularly with new developments and what will be integrated into these buildings/homes,” says Santos.
Another trend picked up by The Agency is the rise of remote working, so homes designed with separate office space or two-bedroom apartments, with the office taking up the second room, are very appealing to buyers. This is a trend we will see becoming more apparent. A lot of buyers are also aiming to secure the ‘live/work/play’ lifestyle and as such are looking at buying in buildings that have a lot of amenities or mixed use buildings that afford this kind of lifestyle. Buildings with gyms/pools and are located near centres that offer lifestyle opportunities will become more the norm than ever before.
While there is little in terms of growth, it will be interesting to see how the market copes with a struggling economy, political instability and a strained electrical system, but we remain positive that there is room to maneuver, whether you’re a seller or a buyer in the local market.