As it stands, predictions for the year ahead seem to lean towards cautious optimism.
According to Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett, house price growth is likely to be slow in the first and possibly second quarters of 2019 as we await to hear the results of the mid-year general elections.
“I also believe that the current market presents the prime opportunity for buyers who might be able to get in before the market swings back in favour of the seller,” Goslett advises.
Consequently, for those who are planning on purchasing real estate in the year ahead, there are several key variables which ought to be considered to take full advantage of the market conditions for the year.
“Considering the results from last year, the sooner first-time buyers can afford to enter the market, the better. For the second half of 2018, market share figures according to the various price segments reflected a real estate market that was shifting beyond the reach of entry-level buyers and in favour of the middle-income buyer.
“My advice to first-time buyers would be to try and purchase in the first half of the year while the market continues to lean in their favour. To get the best possible price, buyers should do their research and make sure they know what houses are selling for in that area – not just what they’re being marketed at – so that they put forward the most reasonable competitive offer. Since the property market in general is likely to be off to a slower start in the first half of the year, it is likely that sellers will be more open to negotiations than if we were in a more thriving market, as we might well enter into towards the end of the year if things continue to go favourably for our country,” says Goslett.
“Similarly, first-time renters should not rush into making any decisions before they’ve done their market research. Many suburbs experienced lower demands for rentals last year, so much so that landlords were often forced to lower their rental amounts in order to secure new tenants. All tenants should however keep in mind that there might well be an uptake in the market in the second half of 2019. It would be prudent for tenants to budget for rental increases towards the end of the year,” advises Goslett.
“Lastly, my advice for repeat buyers who purchase in 2019 is not to skip the process of shopping around for the best possible deal on a new home loan should they require one. Last year, the MPC predicted interest rate hikes to be in the cards for 2019, so securing the lowest possible interest rate on your home loan upfront will prove helpful when interest rates climb,” says Goslett.
As a final word of advice, Goslett suggests that buyers and renters alike work through a trusted real estate professional to make sure they receive reliable advice on how best to navigate whichever market conditions they find themselves in when they decide to start their search.
“Real estate agents are not just professional house hunters. They are also there to advise you and guide you through the whole process. Working through a reliable real estate professional will help you find your perfect home at the best possible price and in the shortest amount of time – something every purchaser will benefit from in the 2019 market,” says Goslett.