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Homeowners who earn salaries and have high bonds – and often car and credit card debt – are generally the first to come under financial distress, says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s Chris Cilliers.

“If interest rates rise or there is a change in their personal financial position, they are exposed.”

First-time buyers with little equity in their homes or are upwardly mobile and middle management employees who have enjoyed the short-term benefits of such positions and racked up high levels of debt, can also come under pressure when there is a change in the economic climate, she says.

Properties in the lower- to mid-priced brackets – about R800 000 to R2 million – are generally those coming on to the market as a result of affordability struggles, says Jawitz’ Herschel Jawitz.

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