30 April 2009

Both these graphs are based on data supplied by the Deeds Office for properties which were transferred and over which bonds were registered. They fall within the following parameters:

  1. Purchase price between R10 000 and R15 000 000.
  2. Properties which were actually bought and sold - and not donated or transferred as a result of divorce or estate transfer.
  3. The figures reflect the month in which registration occurred, not when the sale was concluded.

In this graph we notice that the average price for a bond granted (blue trend line) has increased from just over R300 000 in 2003 to just under R800 000 in March this year. At the height of property activity in mid 2006 over 60 000 bonds were registered a month, compared to last month's 15 000 and February's 12 000 (green trend line). Accordingly the three month moving average has been in a steep decline since mid 2007 (black trend line).

This graph tells a similar story. Firstly that the number of transfers registered dipped as low as 12 000 in January this year from a high of over 40 000 in mid 2006 (green trend line) and that the three month moving average has been in decline since mid 2006 (black trend line). What is of interest to note in this graph is that after holding up quite well in a band of between R700 000 to over R800 000 since the start of 2007 the average price of a transfer has now fallen to R695 000 (blue trend line).

Both graphs show that although the downturn has been fairly steep and quick, property as an asset has held its value well in South Africa, and that an attempt is now being made to establish a bottom.

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