Gloom, but homes ‘still in demand’
DESPITE a rising interest rate environment and gloomy predictions for residential property by pundits, some estate agencies say they are still experiencing healthy demand for residential property from buyers.

Samuel Seeff, chairman of Seeff Properties, says he thinks there is sufficient demand from potential property buyers in the market to satisfy any “reasonable seller’s asking price”.

“A reasonably priced home will move quickly.”

He says because of the boom conditions in the residential market in 2004 and 2005, many sellers believe that putting their properties on to the market at any price will attract buyers.

“It did for a period, but that was clearly not sustainable and we’ve moved back into the traditional marketplace whereby sellers will need to price reasonably to attract buyers,” says Seeff.

“A lot of commentators are saying there are far fewer buyers in the market and I don’t believe that is correct.”

He says Seeff Properties’ sales are up 22% for the first eight months of the year compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Cape Town-based estate agency Greeff Properties says the group’s July-August sales figures are 76% higher than those in the same period last year.

Mike Greeff, CEO of Greeff Properties, says his company is up 35% year on year.

“Our business has not been negatively affected by the National Credit Act and the increased interest rates have had little impact on our business,” he says.

Greeff says the past few months “have been difficult”, but that the group has “weathered the storm” because it covers the southern suburbs of Cape Town, where demand for property is still high and prices are increasing in the 10% to 15% range.

“Secondly, we cover the price range from R400000 right through to R20m, which gives us a very diversified portfolio of properties.”

Greeff says the first half of this year was volatile, but there had been ongoing demand from the emerging market, particularly for properties ranging from R350000 to R800000. He says the highest demand is still for the R1m to R2,5m price bracket.

Pam Golding Properties says that i n the current climate of rising interest rates and stricter controls on credit, there is more demand than ever for affordably priced housing .

The group says Cape Town’s northern suburbs, for example, continue to deliver, resulting in ongoing demand across all price ranges.

Because of this, Pam Golding Properties is expanding its presence in the northern suburbs area once again, with a new, larger office to be opened in The Forum shopping centre, in Welgemoed, next month.

Article by: Nick Wilson -