Property sales down 42% from peaks

26 Apr 2011

Estate Agents and mortgage originators have in recent weeks reported somewhat of an up tick in show house attendances and housing sales but latest figures from the Deeds office show that sales volumes are still down a hefty 42% from 2006 peaks. 

The total value of residential property sales simultaneously slumped by some 37% - from R204,7bn in 2006 to R150bn in 2010.

At the height of the boom, some 400 000 residential property sales were recorded in the Deeds office, according to figures from the Knowledge Factory’s South African Property Transfer Guide (SAPTG). That dropped to some 227 000 housing sales in 2010. 

The total value of residential property sales simultaneously slumped by some 37% -  from R204,7bn in 2006 to R150bn in 2010. It’s nevertheless encouraging to see that sales volumes and values recovered some losses last year after housing activity hit an 11-year low in 2009. 

SAPTG figures show that the total number of transactions were up 13% in 2010 year-on-year while the value of total housing sales were up 25% over the same time. The fact that the value of sales accelerated at a faster pace than the number of sales is indicative of the recovery in average sales prices seen last year. 

Average sales prices recorded in the Deeds office were up around 11% last year, from R596 938 in 2009 to R660 086 in 2010. That follows a drop in average sales prices of -0,4% and -3% respectively in 2008 and 2009. 

Interestingly, SAPTG figures indicate that despite the fall in prices in 2008 and 2009, sales prices were still up an average 29% between 2006 and 2010. SAPTG figures apply to all housing sales (sectional title and freehold) priced between R1 000 and R10m. 

Meanwhile, mortgage originator ooba reports that the number of bond applications hit a three year high in March 2011. Statistics from ooba reveal that the average number of bond applications have been rising steadily over the past 12 months. 

In March, applications were 36% higher than the average monthly application intake recorded in 2010. March volumes are, however, still only 36% below the application volumes recorded at the peak of the market in May 2007. 

According to ooba, March also saw the highest value of approved home loans since October 2008. Saul Geffen, CEO of ooba, cites lower interest rates cuts and the continued relaxation of banks’ lending criteria as major contributors to the rising trend in home loan applications and approvals. - Joan Muller

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