Prices Soften, but Property in Demand /in Province

Article excerpt

BYLINE: ANEL POWELL

WHILE there has been a "softening" of property prices in the Western Cape in response to the economic downturn, many property groups report increased demand activity in the last quarter and a cautiously positive outlook for the property market this year.

First National Bank home loans property strategist John Loos said the province's market showed a general deflation at the end of last year.

There would be a "gradual uptick" in the demand for residential property, but price inflation for property in the province would take a bit longer.

Barak Geffen, South Africa executive director for Sotheby's International Realty, said a recent regional analysis of industry figures indicated it was not all "gloom and doom" for the Western Cape showed the residential property price ranger had dropped 35% in turnover for the first six months of 2008 from R12 billion to R8bn, but average prices had increased by 19% from R1.67 million to R1.99m for the same period.

But Loos said trends indicated a weakening in the property process, with a significant number already in deflation.

Only average prices for the top 10% of the market had stabilised at R1. …