Prices Soften, but Property in Demand in Province

Article excerpt

BYLINE: ANEL POWELL

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

While the residential property price ranger had shown a 35% drop in turnover in the first six months of last year, to R8 billion from R12 billion in the same period the year before, average prices in the province had increased by 19% from R1.67 million to R1.99m.

But Loos said trends indicated a weakening in the property process. A significant number were in deflation.

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