Upswing in sales no myth

The last two months have confirmed the growing perception that the residential property market has passed its low point and is at last on an upswing, says Lanice Steward, MD of Anne Porter Knight Frank.

“The total sales turnover in the Southern Suburbs (and, incidentally, in our firm) was up by 40% on the previous two months. It is a long while since we saw such a significant upswing,” said Steward.

Steward added that the chief reason for this upswing was “quite clearly the more lenient approach taken by the banks to mortgage bond loans”.

“All the banks,” she said, “work to their own criteria. But all, in one way or another, are now again willing to give 100% loans. It is particularly encouraging that, while the big increases in sales were expected to be at the lower end of the market, they have in fact been in all categories. Upper Constantia and Bishopscourt, for example, have seen significant rises in sales.”

The question now being asked, said Steward, is, “was the crackdown by the banks really necessary – and did it not perhaps cause the huge drop in sales of the last 18 months?”

“Many people feel that that National Credit Act provided a sufficient barrier to irresponsible lending and that the banks pullback was excessive – but no doubt, other factors such as bank liquidity came into play.”

APKF, said Steward, has capitalised on the upswing by moving into Hout Bay (via the former Matt Mercer agency) and Camps Bay. Here they are, now, said Steward, able to serve their clients in this fast growing market in a way that is resulting in impressive sales.

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