Signs of hope for housing market in third quarter
CAPE TOWN - The RE/MAX National Housing Report showed that the national lockdown brought the housing market to a standstill during the second quarter of 2020, but there were signs of hope for the third quarter, estate agent companies said on Friday.
The Deeds Office was closed during Lockdown Level; 5 and more of Level 4, while real estate services were unable to operate until Level 3 started, on June 1.
According to Lightstone Property data, only 5 792 bond registrations were recorded at the Deeds Office from April to June 2020, which translated into an 87 percent decrease in the number of bonds registered year-on-year and an 85 percent decrease quarter-on-quarter.
Beyond this, the number of transfers, bonded and unbonded, recorded at the Deeds Office between April and June amounted to 5 941, a 91 percent decrease from last year, and an 88 percent fall from the first quarter of 2020.
“These numbers are not surprising considering no transactions were processed at the Deeds Office during most of April and May. However, the results for June provide a glimmer of hope that activity will slowly return to normal now that lockdown restrictions have eased,” said RE/MAX of Southern Africa chief executive Adrian Goslett.
Chas Everitt International group chief executive Berry Everitt said late last week they expected the Johannesburg residential market to continue to benefit in the third quarter from the partial re-opening of the economy and the fact that many affluent individuals who were planning to emigrate, or to semigrate to the Cape, have had to put those plans on hold.
Goslett said following the trend from last quarter, sectional titles nationally continued to be worse affected by the lockdown.
The median price of sectional titles price dropped by 8 percent to R953 084 in the second quarter, from R1 032 045 in the second quarter of 2019, and by 1 percent compared with the first quarter.
The national average price of freehold homes fell 3 percent to R1 109 852 compared with the second quarter in 2019, and it was 6 percent lower than in the first three months of 2020.
The average active RE/MAX listing price amounted to R2 828 450.55 for the second quarter, which represented a 1 percent increase year on year and a 5 percent decrease quarter on quarter.
“The average bond amount granted in this period similarly decreased by 10 percent since last quarter to R990 000 and by 10 percent in the same period in 2019. This could be the result of the drop in demand and the slight downward pressure on property prices,” said Goslett.
Chas Everitt International Hyde Park & Sandton office principal Rory o’Hagan said it seemed that the Covid-19 hard lockdown in April and May had applied only a temporary brake to property sales in the northern and southern suburbs of Johannesburg.
He said the group’s teams in Hyde Park, Sandton, Randburg, Glenvista and New Developments had sold more than R500m worth of property in the past three months.
“Business in the northern suburbs has been really brisk in the past six weeks, and our sales worth about R300m have included about R130m worth of homes in the luxury R5m to R20m price range,” he said,
Hyde Park, Bryanston, Riverclub, Illovo and Dunkeld West had been their busiest areas and while things were slower in the super-luxury bracket, which includes homes priced at more than R20m, some sales in this range had been concluded since March, including one for more than R35m.