In the area 2 - Pretoria
The property market in Pretoria and the surrounding areas is showing encouraging signs of stabilising.

“The worst of the market uncertainty seems to be over,” says Johalna Minnaar, northern Gauteng regional director of the RealNet estate agency group. “Although many homeowners are still struggling to hold on to their properties and the next six months may yet hold challenges, the extreme turbulence of the past months seems to have subsided.”

Minnaar says the number of transactions in her region have shown an encouraging upward trend since the start of the year but that there are still deals falling through because of problems buyers have with obtaining bond finance. “However, this seems set to change as banks are increasingly relaxing their very strict lending criteria.”

She adds that the rental market in the region is buoyant with landlords achieving satisfactory incomes. “We have noticed an uptick in interest in rental properties – but it is still not a segment that should be rushed into without doing proper planning.

“Buyers should not overcommit themselves financially, precisely because we don’t know how long the current interest rate cycle will last. But for investors who keep a close eye on their cash flow by ensuring that bond costs don’t far exceed potential rental income, now may be indeed a good time to test the waters.”

Minnaar says one aspect of the regional market that is of concern is the sudden disappearance of qualified buyers in the emerging middle class. “The lower middle emerging market has come to a virtual standstill. Although 100% bonds are available for entry-level properties, the majority of current applicants are disqualified mostly because of poor credit records.

“Our impression is that the intensity and speed of the recession have caught many of these consumers unawares and that they need time to adjust to the new market realities.”

Article by: www.realnet.co.za