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23 November 2017

It’s a property buyer’s market in SA for 2018
The property market has shifted notably over the last 18 months as the fall-out from the weak political and economic climate, poor growth and credit downgrades continues. The inevitable result, says Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, is that this rather good performing economic sector, is now also taking strain.

“Where it was a sellers’ market until early last year, we have seen a progressive shift this year which has manifested in lower demand, rising stock levels combined with a decline in buyer confidence, flat price growth and deals taking longer to conclude.

“The outcome, is that we head into 2018 with a buyer’s market for most areas, even some Cape locations,” says Seeff.
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The growing trend of shared and flexible working space
As economies make way for a plethora of small to medium business entrepreneurs, and big businesses realise the need for flexibility, the recent trend is increasingly towards shared working space.

Economic downturns have encouraged the rise of many smaller enterprises which are being run from coffee shops or homes, but they do, on occasion need a more professional appearance. This is one possible function of a shared working space. Another is for larger companies to rent extra space on a short-term basis when requiring increased manpower for limited periods.

“There are already many shared working space companies to be found in all the main business hubs, locally as well as worldwide, but it is likely that this trend will continue to grow exponentially,” says Leon Breytenbach, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s commercial division.
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Don’t let your fear of interest rate hikes stop you from buying
One of the factors which first-time and inexperienced buyers are most afraid of is that months or years down the line the South African Reserve Bank may decide to raise interest rates

Rowan Alexander, Director of Alexander Swart Property, says years of experience with first-time and inexperienced home buyers has shown him this.

Without knowing most of the facts, he says they believe that this could cause serious difficulties in meeting their monthly bond repayments. The reason for these fears is that some have memories, or have heard of the massive interest rate rises of the late 1990s and 2007/2008, which did cause many homeowners to lose their homes.

“However, in today’s scenario it is perfectly feasible to reassure buyers that the chances of this happening are minimal. Big interest rises, I believe, are a thing of the past,” says Alexander.
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Tips for renting our your home this festive season
The festive season is fast approaching and economic activity and consumer spending typically spikes during this time. Many take leave during December, especially due to the relative warm holiday weather across the country.

Besides local travellers flocking to their favourite destinations, Richard Gray, Harcourts Africa Chief Executive Officer, says South Africa is a premier holiday spot for international holidaymakers too.

Due to the high demand, popular lodges, hotels, guesthouses, and so forth are usually fully booked months in advance.

“This is where renting out your property over this period to tourists can be a great source of secondary investment income, as well as a way to ensure your home does not stand empty while you're away,” says Gray.
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