PRETORIA – The first-time home buyers pilot project announced in the Budget has been welcomed by the property industry.
Andrew Golding, the chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group, said the Our Help to Buy subsidy, a pilot project with R950 million over three years to help first-time home buyers acquire a home, was welcome news together with the funding for the upgrading of informal settlements.
However, Golding said land expropriation from a housing perspective had yet to be finalised and he would have liked a reduction in the transfer duty to stimulate property transactions across the board with the potential to increase volumes and thereby revenue generation for the government.
Golding also referred to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, noting that there was a need to respond to rapid urbanisation by shifting from “horizontal” development to vertical or “going up” as part of an integrated development plan.
“This would suggest that government incentives may reinforce the shift towards the construction of more sectional title homes, a trend already evident in many of the country’s major metro housing markets,” he said.
Herschel Jawitz, the chief executive of Jawitz Properties, said while there had not been any changes to transfer duty or capital gains tax, the introduction of a pilot subsidy programme for first-time buyers was very encouraging.
“While consumers will continue to face financial pressures as a result of the lack of tax relief, there should be no impact on an already subdued residential market,” he said.
Jawitz said the real key to meaningful improvement in the residential market would be consumer confidence and this would be determined by the government’s ability to keep the lights on, reduce corruption and focus on the key components needed to create a growing economy.