Several readers have asked what I believe the future holds for the local property market. After last week's shocking cabinet reshuffle I can confidently say that the remainder of 2017 will be pretty much flat. But in 2018 there is light at the end of the tunnel - and it's not an oncoming train.
Financial markets are driven primarily by perception and not simply by fundaments. The property market is no different. Right now interest rates are at historical lows. For the potential buyer we sit with a market completely awash with value. Yet we are not seeing a strong upsurge in property sales.
We are suffering from what one commentator called "A National Depression". Buyer appetite for large purchases is all but gone. And yet it is a great time to buy. For those brave individuals willing to take the risk there are many wonderful opportunities out there. The tide goes in and the tide goes out. Residential property is long overdue for an upswing. And I am not the only agent who thinks so.
Allow me to paint you a possible picture of the future. Let's say that in December our current president is removed from office and the deputy president takes over. At that moment no fundamentals actually change. Interest rates remain the same. The number of potential properties for sale remains the same. Bank lending policy remains the same. But suddenly the view of the future lights up like a fireworks display in New York's Times Square.
On the afternoon that the courts demanded the release of the State Of Capture Report I had seven enquiries from potential buyers. Now isn't that strange. Well not really. Haven't you ever had a headache and right after taking some aspirin you feel better. Obviously the medication takes 20 minutes to take effect. But your mind immediately anticipates feeling better - and so it does.
In my business perception is everything. What the South African property market needs is a national anti-depressant, and a change at the top might just do the trick.