Did the strikes affect the SA residential property market
“The answer is very definitely “yes”,” says Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties. “Investor confidence, which had been noticeably encouraged by the World Cup event, has dropped markedly. Buyers are now adopting a “Let’s wait and see what happens next attitude”.”

The major overseas news media, both TV and newsprint, have, said Clarke, featured the strike in a big way and this has led to the perception that the government is a poor employer and that SA’s people like restraint and order.

“In at least two cases, we at Rawson’s have seen foreign property buyers back off because of the strike.”

Particularly disruptive to the entire sales process, says Clarke, have been delays in issuing rates clearance certificates at the deeds offices and the Gauteng deeds office has proved to be among the farthest behind.

“We had grown to accept that a three month delay was inevitable but since the strike we now have to wait an extra 20 to 30 days.”

This, he said, had increased the number of distressed sellers because the hold-ups had made those who had expected to be paid for a sale wait longer for the cash – although already unable to pay their bonds.

In some, quite frequent, cases, buyers have moved in on the original transfer date leaving the seller to carry big holding costs, including unforeseen bond payments and rentals for a temporary home.

Conveyancing attorneys, estate agents, as well as buyers and sellers have, said Clarke, all been inconvenienced.

“In many cases, bridging finance, at high short term rates that can equate to as much as a 40% interest, has had to be resorted to and developers holding costs, in particular, have also been very adversely affected – at a time when most are working on extremely small margins.”

Now that as the strike is ending, said Clarke, the property sector expects all deeds offices to improve the situation by taking on extra temporary staff.

Article by: www.rawsonproperties.com