Clarke explains reason behind market 'panic'
Another high profile figure in the real estate sector, Tony Clarke, MD of Rawson Properties, has reacted strongly to recent media statements suggesting that the South African property market is in serious trouble.
Clarke said that a recent statement from a leading estate agency to the effect that house prices could fall by 40%, although later withdrawn, had caused a massive loss of confidence in property and had done untold harm. It was, he said, based on no verifiable data and had been completely unjustified.
What particularly annoyed me and other spokespeople for the real estate industry, said Clarke, was a follow-up statement from another member of the firm implying that those of us who protested were simply trying to protect our livelihoods and ignoring the facts.
Our whole reputation depends on our giving buyers and sellers accurate information so that they can make appropriate decisions and this applies to all the major agencies. Most of us at this stage in SAs history accept that a temporary slowdown in economic growth is inevitable but most of us, again, see a great many reasons for the continued positive outlook.
Clarke said that he recognises the importance of the medias role in keeping readers up to date with the economic realities but, he said, the media have a responsibility to be balanced, well-informed and to avoid over-simplification especially in times like the present when the issues are complex.
Among many good factors working to the benefit of the SA property market, Clarke listed:
Right now, said Clarke, home sellers and buyers are at last adjusting to the realisation that the heady price growth figures of the last few years are over and that they will have to trim their sails. This in itself, he said, is not all bad, because in the current scene buyers are being offered more choice and are able to negotiate competitive prices within the more stringent limits set by the NCA.
Looking at the residential property scene as a whole I remain confident that house prices in certain areas will continue to show double digit growth. My prediction for the average growth for SA housing until the end of 2009 is still between 4 and 6% which, of course, in real terms is no growth but is highly satisfactory in view of the countrys economic conditions right now.
Clarke added that in the nationwide franchise network that Rawsons has established in the last two years (and are still expanding) many areas are still achieving steady, ongoing price growth.
The fact that Rawsons have sold another 12 franchises in the last two months should tell the public something about how positive the outlook for real estate sector still is.
Article from: www.rawsonproperties.com