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Property still best investment – industry head

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Real estate icon, Bill Rawson, chairman of the Rawson Property Group welcomed the reopening of the real estate sector in Level 3 but says the effects of lockdown would be long-lasting.

However, despite all the uncertainty Rawson still believes that property is one of the best investments – now more than ever.

Rawson said after hearing real estate would reopen that the  anti-Covid-19 lockdown strategies would no doubt change the way business is done further down the road.

Rawson who has seen the industry survive some of the worst economic times says the economic effect of this shut down “will take months if not years to play out”. 

He says “in many ways it could force us all to look for new ways in which to serve each other and thereby earn a living”.  

Rawson believes technology will play a “huge roll going forward as it enables communication with social distancing and thereby improving health care”. 

Leadership through the use of tech will be the new challenge, he believes, which – if mastered – could be “a great time-and-cost saver thereby benefiting both employees and the employers”. 

“These savings can be shared with consumers thereby reducing the cost of our products.”

He feels the property industry will be “one of the great beneficiaries of this economic turmoil in that prices haven’t crashed but merely adjusted to reality”. 

This cannot be said, he says, for many other forms of investment such as the  share market and insurance products. Many pension funds have been devalued which is a result of the drop in the performance of the share market.  

Listed property funds have also been punished by the investment market unfortunately but “retail centres may have to reinvent themselves”.

“In years gone by Cape Town was a city with retail on the ground floor and offices immediately above and above that were residential flats for the workers. 

“We may see this return and thereby bring night life back to the city. “

Rawson said this was a good time to take advantage and invest in property “as never have the interest rates on mortgage bonds been so low and with the current price correction  I believe it’s great time to invest.

“In a few years time we will definitely see the return of inflation and higher interest rates but what normally follows is the increase in property values.  

“In Cape Town we have also just seen one of the lowest annual increases in rates and taxes , sewerage, water and electricity.”

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