Buying a new home continues to become more affordable as weakening housing demand results in ongoing negative real price growth (after inflation) in the residential property market.

With inflation currently below the mid-point of the Reserve Bank’s inflation target and economic growth remaining sluggish, the Monetary Policy Committee kept the repo rate steady at 6.75%, as expected.

Residential property market sentiment in South Africa increased over a wide front in the final quarter of 2018 on the back of an improved economic performance.

The value of outstanding credit balances in the South African household sector increased by 5,7% to R1 630,2 billion in 2018 after rising by 3,8% in 2017.

2018 was a challenging year for the South African property market, with negative real price growth in the residential property market and slowing market activity.

After an unexpectedly tough 2018, but with the welcome announcement that the repo rate remains unchanged following this first MPC meeting of the year, the outlook for 2019 is somewhat brighter.

Third quarter (Q3 18) statistics released by ooba, South Africa’s leading home loan originator, show that year-on-year from Q3 17 to Q3 18, the growth in the Average Purchase Price effectively remained static with a 0.1% increase. This continues the trend of negative real price growth (growth less inflation) in the residential property market.

With the rand regaining some ground and inflation surprising on the downside this week, existing and aspirant home buyers will be relieved at the Monetary Policy Committee’s decision today (20 September 2018) not to increase the repo rate, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

Today’s (28 March 2018) announcement of an interest rate cut of 25bps, coupled with Moody’s decision to not only leave South Africa’s credit rating unchanged at one notch above junk status, but to also upgrade the outlook from negative to stable, are positive factors which should provide welcome stimulus for the residential property market, says Dr Andrew Golding, CEO of the Pam Golding Property group.

House prices in the Northern Cape are reflecting robust growth as the demand for residential accommodation outstrips supply.

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