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17 December 2015

Gordhan’s appointment a step in the right direction for real estate
Harcourts - South Africa
The real estate industry is breathing a sigh of relief this week following President Zuma’s decision to reverse the appointment of David van Rooyen as Finance Minister and give the position to Pravin Gordhan instead. Gordhan, who was also South Africa’s Finance Minister from 2009 to 2014, is well respected and has a proven track record of prudent fiscal management. The markets like and trust him, as evidenced by the fact that the rand exchange rates against major currencies immediately began to improve following the news of his appointment.

Now he has also said he will be working hard to restore the business and consumer confidence that has been eroded over the past year – and that will be positive for the real estate market, which is sentiment driven. That is, if consumers feel more confident about the economy as a whole and more certain about their own financial futures, they are much more likely to commit to major purchases such as homes and cars – just as more confidence in the business sector drives more investment in new equipment and production facilities.
A step in the right direction

Residential Property Affordability Review
FNB - South Africa
The Housing Affordability picture continued its broad deterioration in the 3rd quarter of 2015

Looking forward, the broadly deteriorating Residential Affordability picture looks set to continue in 2016. Interest rates are expected to tick up gradually next year, while is seems unlikely that Municipalities and Utilities will stop their above-inflation tariff and tax increases, with General Government finances continuing their long term deterioration. In addition, the Household Debt-Service Ratio is expected to rise further too, driven higher by further interest rate hikes.

But we think that 2016 may be the year when not all of the measures of the affordability continue to deteriorate. While we would expect rising interest rates to lift the Bond Instalment/Per Capita Disposable Income Ratio higher next year, expected slowing house price growth could possibly end the rising trend in the Average House Price/Per Capita Disposable Income Ratio as we get into the anticipated real house price correction phase. This may also conceivably end the rising Price-Rent Ratio.
FNB Property Barometer

A little Monopoly holiday fun
Lightstone - South Africa
As the holidays fast approach, so does the panic of keeping the family entertained. Board games have long been a firm favourite of families when it comes to passing time during the holiday season. One of the most popular board games of all time is Monopoly, which originated in the United States in 1903. Since the board game was first commercially sold in the 1930s, it has become a part of popular world culture, having been licensed in more than 103 countries and printed in more than 37 languages. The original South African Monopoly board game was first commercially available in 1963. At the time, Eloff Street was the highest valued property space on the board. As is clear in 2015, a lot has changed since then - in South Africa in general, and in the property market. In this last newsletter for 2015, we decided to have a bit of fun and look at the various South African Monopoly board games, comparing property popularity and values, then and now.
Lightstone

Can Feng-Shui help sell your property?
Rawson - South Africa
The ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui - a hugely popular home design and decor trend in Western culture during the nineties - seems to be gaining ground in the design world once again. Focused on channelling energy to create balance and harmony in the home environment, Feng Shui practitioners claim to be able to influence not only the health and happiness of a home's occupants, but their wealth as well. Cynics, of course, remain dubious about the benefits of Feng Shui, so we were curious to get an opinion from a property expert on this esoteric trend's potential when it comes to selling a home. Somewhat surprisingly, Tony Clarke, the Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, was quite positive about sellers incorporating Feng Shui principles into their homes in order to increase the appeal of their property to prospective buyers.
Feng Shui

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