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Tough times but experts are hopeful

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Real estate agents take a look at 2019

“The market was off to a slow start in the beginning of the year building up to the elections. Thereafter, activity slowly picked up. Concerns for the property market include the threat of power cuts and the fiscal health of Eskom as well as poor foreign investor outlook and slow economic growth. Despite these threats, the property market continued to reflect nominal house-price growth more or less in line with inflation. “I remain confident and believe we are near the bottom of a downward cycle that is poised to start a long-term corrective journey.” – Adrian Goslett, Re/ Max

“It has been a tight market. It is not in collapse but still sees good property going for fair prices. Buyers can get good buys if they are savvy. The rental market has done very well so landlords and investors have seen many leases resigned as people are not buying as much.  We have weathered a difficult storm but it is improving.” – Rob Stefanutto, Dogon

“The market continued on a steadily declining trajectory in 2019 with little of significance to encourage investor confidence and spur the market. However, there were also glimmers of hope like the #I’mStaying movement gathering momentum.” – Yael Geffen, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s

“We had a lot of issues – all the corruption going on, issues around land reform – so it was pretty depressing and yet, to be honest, the word on everyone’s lips was they don’t want to leave if they don’t have to. People were thinking about it and the sentiment was rough. From an agency perspective a lot of agents were leaving corporate and setting up by themselves, so there was a lot of fragmentation.” – Richard Hardie, Knight Frank SA

“Buyers in the R2 million and below sector have been the most active. We have also seen an increase in first-time buyers. In the R5m-plus sector, activity has not increased, but the tail-end of 2019 has seen an uptick in buyer interest across all sectors and there are signs that there could be a drop in interest rates in the first quarter of 2020.” – Mike Greeff, Greeff Christie’s

“South Africa has been through a rough time politically and economically, and the property market continues to show slow, but steady growth in what will become an extended period of low demand and minimal market activity. The market will take time to recover fully from this contraction, and buyers are still strong with supply outweighing demand for now.” – Craig Mott, Rawson

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