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With more than 770000 members on Facebook, #ImStaying movement may encourage investment

The re-emergence of load shedding may have taken growing positive sentiment back a few paces, but the #Imstaying movement is still encouraging many to reconsider their desire to emigrate.

This is could be good for the country’s property market, says Adrian Goslett, regional director and chief executive of Re/Max of Southern Africa. The #ImStaying movement, with more than 770 000 members on Facebook, has taken the nation by storm.

This followed a flood of negative sentiment that surrounded the ongoing violence around women and children within South Africa. Although some still choose to try to escape the issues by emigrating and seeking greener or at least safer pastures, others have decided to stay on in South Africa.

Goslett welcomes this movement and remains hopeful the local property market will show growing signs of improvement as more people choose to invest within the local economy.

“We met the founders of this movement to discuss how we could get behind this cause. Anything that encourages positive sentiment and nation building is worth getting behind, which is why Re/Max fully supports what this group is trying to do.

“We remain hopeful that as positive sentiment builds around this movement, we will see an upswing in the local housing market as more choose to invest locally rather than emigrate.”

The Re/Max National Housing Report for Q3 2019 shows 49 637 bond registrations recorded at the Deeds Office over the period of July to September 2019, totalling an amount of R53.89billion (Lightstone data).

This translates into a 10% increase in the number of bonds registered since Q2 2019 and a 24% increase since Q3 2018. “The number of transfers (both bonded and unbonded) recorded at the Deeds Office between July and September also increased by 17% from last year, and by 8% from Q2 to 70717 transfers in the third quarter of 2019.

This bodes well for overall market recovery,” Goslett says. The residential property market has seen increasing activity, especially in the price band below R3 million, says Richard Day, chief executive of fixed-fee agency Eazi.

“Currently, our average sales price is just over R1.8m, which confirms the convenient, user-friendly fixed-fee offering has been well accepted by the marketplace, especially as we are seeing 95% of our offers being accepted by sellers.”

Day says the positive uptick being seen in the residential property market activity is echoed by FNB, which reports indicators point to a narrowing demand-supply gap, driven by both a mild improvement in demand and properties entering the market at a slower pace.

“This is coupled with somewhat improved market sentiment as well as value-for-money opportunities for buyers, and increased competition among mortgage lenders, together with a stable and relatively low interest rate.”

FNB reports that transaction volumes, estimated using Deeds registry data, have improved by 0.9% in Q2 in 2019. The price band from R700 000 to R1.8m was the best performing segment, with volumes increasing by 5% year on year, followed by the price band between R1.8m and R3.5m, which reflected growth of 2.4% over the same period.

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