Hi Chas Teammates
At the height of the last property boom, there were about 84 000 estate agents
in SA competing for around 35 000 to 40 000 sales a month. Now, transaction
numbers are down to around 12 000 to 14 000 a month but, according to the EAAB,
there are only about 22 000 qualified principals and agents registered, so the
ratio of agents to sales is considerably more favourable.
Indeed, many of the agents who decided to “stick it out” during the recession
have significantly increased their market share in the past few years, and it
must also be said that most of these “survivors” are really great agents who
would probably be the ones doing most of the deals anyway, even in the good times.
However, this is not the only reason for the more confident market reports and
predictions now coming in from agents all over the country. In the past few months
there does appear to have been a genuine improvement in buyer sentiment towards
property and a strong increase in demand as a result.
This could be because many consumers have tidied up their financial affairs with
a view to buying a homeand are now not only in a better position to afford one
but keen to buy before interest rates and prices rise. It could also be because
rentals have recently started to rise steeply again and in many areas tenants
now see that a bond repayment would probably be about the same as their monthly
It could be that existing homeowners in the middle and lower income brackets are
taking a strong cue from many upper income owners who are now scrambling to
upgrade before prices start rising stronly, or it could be that the so called
“emerging middle class” in SA has grown by 53% since 2004, from 4,5m people to
6,9m people (according to the Unilver Foundation at UCT) who all need somewhere
It is very likely a combination of all these things, and it is certainly
reflected in the results our offices have been achieving recently, with
sales numbers and average prices climbing month by month.
In short, these are once again exciting times for agents and their clients,
and all we can say is that those who are still trying to decide whether to
buy or not should get off the fence really soon.