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2020 Property Review

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While Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on many sectors of the economy, the residential property industry has seen something of a boom.

“Surprising”, “eye-opening”, and “unexpected” are just some of the words being used to describe this year in the property market.

The national lockdown and resultant closure of the Deeds Office saw the industry come to an almost complete standstill and many people felt it would not recover from the blow.

But six months after reopening, and with the aid of interest rate cuts, the market has staged a comeback and offers buyers some of the best buying conditions ever.

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The pandemic has had a profound impact on global economic activity, says FNB senior economist Siphamandla Mkhwanazi, with many economies experiencing sharp recessions, unemployment spikes and stagnated incomes. Yet housing markets in major economies remained “relatively unimpacted”.

“Buying activity remains robust and prices continue climbing.” He says this decoupling between the real economy and housing market activity is, in most places, facilitated by the sizeable stimulus packages (fiscal and monetary) designed to fend off wider economic calamity.

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