SWINGING INTO A SELLER’S MARKET
Against all predictions, the property market continues to remain incredibly active. Lifestyle changes brought about by the pandemic combined with record-low interest rates have continued to drive up demand for homes, so much so that the market may well be shifting towards a seller’s market in some areas.
After concluding back-to-back months of record-high sales volumes, Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, explains that the brand is beginning to hear reports from its offices that there is a lack of stock available within certain suburbs. “It is possible that we are already beginning to see the swing from a buyer’s into a seller’s market, which means that we may soon start seeing prices begin their upward climb,” says Goslett.
An area that is experiencing this shift is the Garden Route. “Since lockdown first started, we have experienced a big influx of buyers from Gauteng into the Garden Route. Many buyers work from home now and have chosen to semigrate here. In certain suburbs in Knysna, and within certain price brackets, there is now a shortage of family-sized homes priced for under R2.5 million,” says Chris van der Merwe, Broker/Manager of RE/MAX Coastal.
Although the office has not seen multiple offers being made on any given property just yet, they are seeing shorter selling timeframes. “If the home is priced right, we sell the home within a week, especially for homes in Sedgefield. In this area, three-bedroom homes priced between R2 to R2.5 million are in the highest demand.”
However, other areas along the Garden Route have not yet experienced this shift. In Knysna, homes within Pezula Golf Estate priced between R4-5 million are most popular, and within Thesen Islands, homes priced between R6.5-8 million fetch the highest demand. “But, while there is stock available within the estates like Simola Golf and Country Estate, Pezula Golf Estate, and Thesen Islands, certain sellers have priced their homes too high in these areas – in some cases 15-20% above the current average selling price – and are now struggling to sell within the current market,” says van der Merwe.
Corrie de Necker, Team leader of Team Indigo at RE/MAX All Stars, notices a similar trend of sellers overpricing their homes within Alberton in Gauteng. “There definitely has been higher demand for properties within the R750 000 - R1 500 000 price range since lockdown first started. Previously buyers would have been satisfied with a sectional title home, but they now want a freestanding house for the same price. Because of this, many sellers are holding back on putting their property on the market. But, those who have put their homes up for sale are asking higher prices than before and will not accept lower offers. This has led to a shortage of well-priced homes on the market in our areas.”
She adds that multiple offers are very common in the current market because of this. “Houses that are correctly priced will only be on the market for a week or two before the first offer comes along. On the other hand, the houses that are overpriced will stay on the market for much longer but, depending on the condition of the house, it will eventually sell.”
As a final word of advice, Goslett reminds sellers that we are not quite in a seller’s market yet and that partnering with a reliable real estate professional who is up-to-date on the current market conditions will be crucial to selling the home for full value. “Pricing a home correctly is the surest way for sellers to benefit from the current upswing in demand. Listening to the advice of an experienced real estate professional will assist sellers greatly in this regard,” he concludes.