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Watch: Rising interest rates could put the brakes on property prices – so if you want to sell, do it now

Serious property sellers should make the move now. Picture: Dillon Kydd/Unsplash

Serious property sellers should make the move now. Picture: Dillon Kydd/Unsplash

Published Jun 24, 2022

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Choosing to sell your home is often not a quick or easy decision, but if you are seriously thinking about listing it, now is a good time to do it.

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One of the reasons for this, says Gerhard Kotzé, managing director of the RealNet estate agency group, is that there is still a shortage of supply relative to demand in most areas, and this is underpinning prices.

“If you work with an agent from a reputable company who has experience and excellent local knowledge, and price your home correctly, you should be able to sell in six weeks or less now.”

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You should not wait for interest rates to go up any more, he says, as this is “likely to cause far more owners to decide to sell, and put downward pressure on prices”.

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In addition, Berry Everitt, chief executive of the Chas Everitt International property group says there is still a very large contingent of first-time buyers in the market, even though rising interest rates are putting a lid on their purchasing power.

“This is creating an opportunity for those who were first-time buyers two or three years ago to sell now and upgrade to bigger homes and better areas. They are often looking to accommodate growing families and perhaps even their ageing parents and that, in turn, creates an opportunity for those who are empty-nesters to sell their large family homes and downscale to smaller ones that require less maintenance.”

He notes that while this is in line with the normal sales patterns driven by family dynamics, the current market it is also “heavily overlaid” with a significant amount of semigration.

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“Many affluent sellers in Gauteng, the Free State, and even KwaZulu-Natal are moving to be closer to family members in other regions – notably the Western Cape, or they are gathering up their whole family and relocating as a unit away from the cities to more rural areas where they plan to enjoy a slower-paced, peaceful life together, in a scenic and more secure environment.

If you live in the Western Cape and do choose to sell your home now, either to upgrade or move area, John Weston, sales partner for Rawson Properties in Bergvliet, Constantia, and Ou Kaap, in the Western Cape, says it is “imperative” that you re-enter the property market “as soon as possible”.

“This is particularly as we see rising inflation and increased demand in the Western Cape due to poor governance throughout the other provinces of our country. Where sellers have achieved good capital gain it would be smart to invest in two or more new properties and utilise the competitive interest rates, hedging against inflation but using the yields from the rentals to meet the bond repayments, whilst increasing equity.

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He advises that you know your property’s worth, and this involves getting a valuation.

“A good valuation should include hard market data and statistics as well as more intuitive information based on an agent’s hands-on experience with buyers, sellers, and the market in your area. Find a good agent with a good personality fit and has the right professional credentials.”

Everitt says sellers in different parts of the country currently appear to have very different reasons for doing so, but that most of these come down to the simple pursuit of a safer, more peaceful, and more family-focused life in the aftermath of the pandemic.

“In Pretoria, for example, we are seeing many owners in the lifestyle estates of the New East selling in order to move back to the legacy suburbs of the Old East, including Waterkloof, Brooklyn, Lynnwood and Menlo Park, in order live closer to the city’s top schools and the University.

“They are doing this mostly to avoid the long and congested commutes it would otherwise take to get their children to school and extra-mural activities, which make no sense now that they are able to work from home most of the time and don’t also need to drive to the office.”

He says a similar pattern is developing on the West Rand.

Owners of large homes along the Atlantic Seaboard, however, are selling because prices in the area have risen steeply in the past two years, and there is strong demand currently from foreign buyers.

“This creates the opportunity for them to realise a good profit, and although a few are downscaling to luxury apartments in the same area, most are going in search of quieter locations with less traffic and fewer tourists.”

In Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, Everitt says most sellers currently have plans to downscale, upgrade, or semigrate.

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