What Property Sellers, Buyers & Investors Need to Know Right Now
1. What buyers need to know right now
“Money has not been this cheap to borrow in a very long time,” says Graham Ross, manager of Just Property Blouberg. “If you are going to buy, now is the time. You may find you are able to afford a bigger bond, which could put you in an area where a year ago you could not afford to buy.”
Suzette Moco, a Just Property agent in Gqeberha agrees, adding: “Lower interest rates and transfer duties have improved everyone’s chances of securing finance and property ownership. My advice to buyers would be to find out what bond amount they qualify for first. When you see your ideal home, you need to be ready to act. In many areas, there is limited stock, and the bargains get snapped up quickly.”
“On the other hand, where there is a large amount of stock on the market,” says Hendrik van den Berg, franchise owner of Just Property N1 City in Cape Town, “my advice is to entrust your agent with a definitive list of your requirements. View as many homes as you need to and do not rush your decision; when you’re ready, use the buyer’s market to your advantage and make a reasonable offer – it may just be accepted.”
2. What sellers need to know right now
“Properties that are incorrectly priced stick, prompting buyers to think there is something wrong with them,” says van den Berg. “Price it right, get it sold.”
Kate Grieshaber, the franchise owner of Just Property Lephalale, adds, “If you need to sell, you need to be negotiable about your price. Also, be sure that you know how much you’re in for with regard to cancellation fees/ municipal rates clearances/ certificates of compliance (gas, electrical and water), for example. We often see shortfalls.”
“It’s important that you keep yourself informed of your responsibilities so there are no surprises,” agrees Moco. “My advice concerns Covid-19 restrictions and safety precautions, which must be complied with: strict protocols need to be followed for show- and open-houses. Ideally, allow only viewing by appointment for qualified buyers. Recruit an agency that has a large database of qualified buyers, one that is tech-savvy enough to ensure that your property receives maximum exposure.”
On this point, Ross adds, “3D visuals and videos are important in the time of COVID-19. Choose an agency that will be able to give you this edge over competing sellers.”
3. What property investors need to know right now
“As an investor, you need to do the calculations. Buy in the best area you can afford to get maximum growth. In this market, you can and should negotiate on the price,” says Grieshaber.
Ross expands on this. “Developers are willing to offer great launch prices on new developments in order to create interest. Engage a development-focused agent who can get you into these developments first to secure those introductory prices. This can make a huge difference in return.”
Barry Reed, the Commercial Broker for Just Property Berea advises client about the returns they can expect from different types of properties in different areas. “Student accommodation and the retail sector incurred loss of rentals during lockdown; with the possibility of future lockdowns, returns of 13% to 15% can be expected. Government-occupied properties that are not affected by lockdowns will command lower returns of 10% to 12%. Industrial properties in sought after areas, such as Durban South, have not been affected by Covid-19 and lockdown, so returns of 10% to 12% can be expected. But there is a glut of office space on the market and, even if occupied, these are a high risk as finding replacement tenants is very difficult at the moment.”
Moco offers a closing word of advice to investors, tenants, landlords, sellers and buyers: “Whatever your focus, it’s important to know the process you need to follow, and the costs associated with it. A good property professional is an invaluable guide to all aspects of the property industry.”
Current property trends:
Prices need to be realistic – Sellers need to be careful with pricing, as overpriced properties are sure to remain on the market. A professional assessment of the property needs to be done to help you determine a market-related price. Remove emotion from the equation and focus on the facts instead.
Co-living on the rise – The need to reduce overheads in a volatile economy has led to a surge in the demand for co-living spaces. In most cases, co-living takes place between family and friends.
Home is where the office and the home-school is – Many are now investing in their homes to ensure that they are fit for both business, leisure, and homeschooling. Others, to get more space for the same price, are looking at moving to outlying areas. They no longer need to be close to the office – remote-working is fast becoming the norm.