As expected the Reserve Banks monetary policy committee (MPC) has kept rates unchanged. This was announced yesterday at the end of its three-day meeting in Pretoria on Thursday. The repo rate remains at 5,5% and the prime interest rate at 9%, said Gill Marcus, governor of the Bank.
More of the same as we enter a New Year, says Adrian Goslett, CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. RE/MAX predicts that the rate will stay relatively steady over the next 12 months.
Headlines: There are strong indications that, after a three-year lull, the Battle of the Banks for home loan market share is about to heat up again to the benefit of homebuyers and the property market in general. This months decision by major lender Absa to once again start accepting applications for 100% loans from mortgage originators is, we believe, just the first salvo in the renewed battle, says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sothebys International Realty in SA. Borrowers in the pound seats as bank battle restarts.
Market news: According to the latest oobarometer results released by bond originator ooba, property prices showed positive year-on-year growth of 6.2 percent in December. Although this increase is a positive development for the local residential property market, ooba predicts that the market will continue to trade sideways in 2012. The December oobarometer price index reveals that the average house price rose to R870 564 from R819 977 a year earlier. A month-on-month increase of 3.6 percent was also recorded in December. The growth in the average purchase price amongst first time buyers showed a significant increase, with year-on-year growth of 14.5 percent to R656 230 in December 2011 from R573 112 a year earlier. Home prices remain flat.
Municipalities countrywide are making preparations for the next large-scale property valuation, which could impact property owners' pockets. This is according to Ben Espach, valuations director at Rates Watch. The lifespan of the initial valuation rolls in terms of the Municipal Property Rates Act is nearing at close. The rolls have to be adjusted every five years, which period can be extended by one year. Espach explains that although the act came into force in 2006, most municipalities drew up their valuation rolls between 2007 and 2009. This was the first time that both land and improvements were taken into account and farm land was included on a broad scale, ignoring the former sliding scale. Large-scale property valuation on the horizon.
Property Count: 20/01/2012|