Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The residential buying market had held up well, staving off a tough operating environment, an estate agency boss said on Thursday.

Pam Golding Properties CEO Dr Andrew Golding said the residential property market had shown resilience despite rand weakness and a technical recession earlier in the year.

"Following the shock waves of being downgraded to junk status in April, the easing of the interest rate in July ... to some extent helped offset the ongoing challenges being experienced," said Golding.

The latest Pam Golding Residential Property Index showed that activity in the price band below R1m was very active in the year to date.

But while national house price inflation averaged 4.25% during the first nine months of 2017, it has lost momentum in recent months, recording an increase of just 3.9% in the third quarter. Gauteng price inflation averaged 2.88% in the first three quarters of 2017, while Western Cape house price inflation outperformed at 9.81% during that period, even as the other major regions showed slowing growth in house prices.

The rebound in Eastern Cape property price growth from earlier in 2017 has begun to lose momentum, and KwaZulu-Natal managed 4.41% on average in the first nine months of 2017.

From the end of September 2016 to the end of September 2017, Pam Golding Properties increased its sales volume 45% in the top end of the market, where houses sell for more than R50m each. A standout band was properties priced between R1.5m and R3m, which saw volumes rise 10%.

Samuel Seeff, chairman of the Seeff Property Group, said it was concerning that "the property market, which had been one of the better-performing economic sectors, has now also had to take a beating as an inevitable fallout from the political and economic climate, poor growth and downgrades.

"From being a well-performing sector, generating income for local and national government in addition to the knock-on economic benefits, the market is now down by about 15%-20% overall."

Upper end sales and foreign buying were down.

andersona@businesslive.co.za

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