KNOCK-ON EFFECT ON SALES AS A RESULT OF LOCKDOWN
After well over a month in lockdown, the economic impact of COVID-19 is no longer speculation at this point, but rather proven fact. Even the largest player in the real estate industry, RE/MAX of Southern Africa, is feeling the impact of the national lockdown.
“Our sales in the first three months were going well, with February 2020 alone yielding an 8% increase in reported sales compared to February of the previous year. By far the biggest drop we saw was in April, which was down by 62% when compared to April 2019,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
When looking at our registered sales, the impact of the lockdown becomes even more apparent. “In January, February, and March, we saw a 27%, 4%, and 5% increase YoY respectively from last year. However, in April, registered sales dropped by 54%,” says Goslett.
Goslett warns that we have only just started to see the effect of this lockdown and that there will be a knock-on effect on the property market long after the lockdown is lifted. “There is about a two- to three-month time lag between when the sale takes place (reported sales) and when the final proceeds of the sale reflect (registered sales). No sales in April means that there will be minimal registrations that reflect in June and July,” Goslett explains.
For this reason, he is glad to see real estate services re-open at level 3. “I commend government for re-opening industries at level 3 of lockdown restrictions and urge all businesses and consumers to comply with the various health and safety regulations so that the situation does not escalate, forcing us to return to level 4 or level 5 restrictions,” Goslett concludes.