Probably the easiest way to describe the current SA residential property market would be to say that it reflects the economic times that we find ourselves in. The domestic economy ticks along, rarely far from 0% growth these days, averaging 0.3% GDP growth in 2016, while 2017 is looking to be a little different. There were some mildly encouraging signs in early 2017 — with drought conditions being alleviated — a positive for the agriculture sector, and metals commodity prices mildly improving, a positive for mining. These factors could have taken SA’s economic performance to slightly higher levels, but then came the credit rating downgrades by certain rating agencies to junk status, an event that may have been largely responsible for the second quarter RMB-BER business confidence index reading of 29, the lowest level in about eight years. Sentiment plays a key role in the residential market as well as the broader economy, and local sentiment just isn’t good at present.Perhaps the be...

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