Advice

2020 Property trend forecast: Part 2

We asked property experts to pin down the residential trends and price points likely to stick in the new year – here we find out more

TEXT Kim Maxwell PHOTOGRAPHS Supplied

FIRST-TIME BUYER MOMENTUM

BetterBond found that homes costing less than R1 million tend to be dominated by first-time buyers. CEO Carl Coetzee says first-time buyers now account for more than 50% of BetterBond’s applications.

“They are receiving an increasing percentage of home loan grants (up 17,5% in the past year), so we expect sustained demand in this category, especially now that banks have reintroduced products that enable buyers to borrow up to 105% of the home price, to cover transfer and transaction costs.”

Affordable properties in the R1.3 million to R1.6 million price range sell well and are always in demand, says Ilma Brink, Pam Golding Properties Pretoria Regional development sales manager. Yet location remains key in new developments such as The Regency, the first luxury apartments in Pretoria East, close to Menlyn Maine.

Pam Golding Properties area specialist Kayte Denham says Rosebank is set to almost double the number of sectional title properties when its new developments come to market.

Rosebank was one of four urban locations highlighted for its live-work-play lifestyle and numerous sectional title developments in Pam Golding Properties’ recent year-on-year comparison (until August 2019), using Lightstone statistics.

Senior research analyst Sandra Gordon says these findings also singled out Umhlanga Rocks and Umhlanga New Town Centre in KwaZuluNatal for achieving the strongest sales in recent years. In Umhlanga Rocks, the bulk of sales were above R3 million.

LUXURY STILL HOLDING

“We’re finding that it takes two to three times longer to sell a property in the upper end of the residential market as opposed to the lower end,” says Maseko.

Yet the luxury market seems to be holding. “The latest BetterBond statistics show that 7.5% of all bonds granted in the past 12 months (to end September) fell into the R2 million to R3 million price category, compared with 8% in the previous 12 months,” says Coetzee. “And while only 4% of bonds fell into the R3 million-plus price category, this was unchanged from the previous 12 months. There was no major shift at the top end of the market for the past two years.”

Pam Golding Helderberg agent Edelweiss Hankey says demand for luxury properties in Somerset West remains robust, despite a slowdown in many areas at the top end. Property data showed that more than a quarter of 1 553 homes sold in Somerset West between August 2018 and July 2019 were estate homes. These estates are near popular schools. “Demand for property is seen across all market segments, with investor interest from a broad demographic,” says Gordon. The average price of 130 repeat sales in Somerset West over the past 12 months was R5.5 million.

“We see sellers are opting to hold on to their properties amid unfavourable selling conditions, and increased bargain hunting in the higher-priced segments,” says Maseko. “This has somewhat narrowed the supply-demand gap in those segments, and we expect that to continue into 2020.”

Bosmans Club Stellenbosch start at R1,4 million including VAT

LOOSENING RESTRICTIONS

MDW INC attorney and conveyancer Meyer de Waal says a strong 2020 trend is buyers being financially smart about their home purchases.

“Financial institutions are loosening their tight grip on home loan approvals and competing to gain market share with campaigns. Some banks are willing to accommodate future rental income to boost affordability for investor buyers. Others are willing to grant home loans of up to 105% of the purchase price, and up to 110% in particular circumstances.”

De Waal recommends renegotiating your home loan interest rate. “The sooner you renegotiate, the more you stand to save,” he says. “A home owner can save thousands of rands, even in the advanced stages of the home loan repayment term, if a lower rate is negotiated.”

Maseko agrees that approval rates, rate concessions to buyers and loan-to-value criteria (bank deposit requirements) will remain in favour of buyers as banks compete for business. “The ability to access mortgage bonds will remain favourable moving into 2020, as major retail banks look to grow their mortgage books in a low-volume market.”

RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2020

  • Mixed-use sectional title in prime locations
  • Lifestyle estates with mixed price bands
  • Student accommodation
  • Retirement developments in secure estates
  • Affordable homes in traditional retirement or holiday towns
  • Lock-up-and-go units in urban precincts
  • Hotel-like services in luxury urban apartments
  • Majority of sales in first-time buyer price points
  • Luxury still selling, but taking longer
  • Financial prudence
  • Renegotiating interest rates

Park Central in Rosebank, which is close to business hubs, offers lock-up-and-go apartments and amenities such as a rooftop pool and gym. One-bedroom units starting at R1.99 million.

COLIN ANDERSON | COO, RABIE PROPERTY GROUP

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT IN 2019?
We had limited new developments in 2019 and experienced a slow uptake of our residential properties released in 2018. The recent successful launch of Bridgewater One in Century City has reinforced our perception that the market conditions are changing, with much more movement anticipated for the foreseeable future.

WHAT MAKES RABIE’S RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS DIFFERENT?
Our most recent residential development in Century City, Axis, was on the shortlist of the SAPOA Awards for Innovative Excellence in the 2019 Residential category. We also won the SAPOA Property Development Award in 2017 in the Mixed-Use Development category for Century City Square

ANY NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN 2020?
We recently launched a mixed-use development in Century City, Bridgewater One, comprising 122 apartments, an 80-bed luxury hotel, offices, corporate offices and a retail component – 70% of the apartments sold within the first week. Our Oasis Life retirement brand is gaining momentum. We have furnished showhouses in Burgundy Estate and Clara Anna Fontein in Durbanville as part of phase one construction. Oasis Life Century City was launched in November, with construction commencing in 2020.

YOUR PROPERTY TRENDS FORECAST FOR 2020?
Based on the great success of our Century City developments, we remain positive that the extraordinary lifestyle the precinct offers is second to none. People want value in terms of the price, but they also want an environment that offers a great lifestyle. rabie.co.za

SHAUN ROOS | MANAGING DIRECTOR, ZOTOS CONSTRUCTION

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN 2019?
There has been a gradual shift towards more value-for-money housing rather than grandeur and opulence. Budgets are tight and buyers want to maximise every square metre for every rand. With the influx of middle- to upper-class earners, the demand has increased for more secure developments with quality small homes.

HOW ARE YOUR DEVELOPMENTS DIFFERENT?
Our philosophy has always been to offer something different, like our latest development in Bryanston East, Skywood. It is a refinement of modern townhouse living and a statement of uniqueness. Features include double-glazed imported European aluminium windows and doors, a fitted high-end kitchen, Quartz carpets and glass balustrades. Electricity and water back-ups and insulation make these homes really efficient.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE PIPELINE?
We have a number of developments planned for Bryanston: new designs combined with some old architectural styles.

YOUR PROPERTY FORECAST FOR 2020?
The property market will continue to improve in the first quarter of 2020. This comes from the slight improvement in the last quarter of 2019. There is still a demand for housing in South Africa, which means there are buyers out there. As long as we offer the right product in the right place and at the right price, we should see a steady growth in the property market in 2020. zotos.co.za

BRUWER DE JAGER | NATIONAL SALES MANAGER, DEVMARK PROPERTY GROUP

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN 2019?
There are a few: retirement villages on freehold/sectional title schemes are selling at acceptable rates in the Western Cape; developers that went into the market on the life rights scheme are struggling; the resale market above R3 million is under pressure; and George, Langebaan and the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast are attracting large investment inflow.

WHAT SETS YOUR CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS APART?
Our price point sets us apart from most exclusive developments; our design scope is in line with sustainability products; we care about our natural ecosystems, so we’re selective in terms of location; we understand our target market; and you will find news of our latest developments across our online platforms.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE PIPELINE?
We have projects planned in both our lifestyle and retirement categories, such as Langebaan Manor in Langebaan, Nooitgedacht Manor in White River, Fonteine Manor in Malmesbury and The Governors Club in Alberton.

YOUR VIEW ON PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT TRENDS IN 2020?
Location will be key and price will play a major role. In terms of retirement, I think freehold villages will outperform life rights schemes. Lastly, developers within the R1.5million–R2.8 million price range will sell at an acceptable rate. devmark.co.za

DAVID SEDGWICK | MANAGING DIRECTOR, HORIZON CAPITAL RESIDENTIAL

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN 2019?
It has been a challenging year fuelled by low economic growth and political uncertainty. We also saw a lot of new letting supply, putting downward pressure on the market. Investors took stock and curbed their buying frenzy. However, there were still sales of unique products.

HOW ARE YOUR CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS SPECIAL?
We have stuck to smaller boutique blocks of between 10 and 20 apartments that appeal to owner-occupiers, are easier to manage, and offer less rental and sales competition.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE PIPELINE?
We have used the muted past year-and-a-half to acquire an exciting pipeline of developments, which will be launched in 2020/2021. These developments will mostly follow on from our existing strategy: based around the Cape Town City Centre, boutique offering and meticulously designed, and with great views.

YOUR PROPERTY TRENDS FORECAST FOR 2020?
We are expecting a slightly improved activity level compared with 2019, but no 2017-fizz. horizoncapital.co.za

BYRON KYRIAKIDES | CO-FOUNDER OF ICONYC APARTMENTS IN BENONI

WHAT PROPERTY TRENDS STOOD OUT FOR YOU IN 2019?
Increasingly, young families are moving from free-standing homes to complexes or estates that offer security and convenience. Many are also downscaling due to the economic climate, and we’ve noticed a large number of young women entering the property market.

WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT THE ICONYC?
We believe we have an award-winning concept, mainly because we follow a simple ethos based on excellence and adhering to international standards. We implement cutting-edge innovations, including eco-friendly fittings, running tracks and a 24-hour concierge service.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR A NEW DEVELOPMENT?
We’ve ear-marked a beautiful piece of land for our next development. Can’t give too much away but, once again, it will be near the water’s edge.

WHAT ARE THE PROPERTY TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2020?
Lifestyle estates that offer everything within walking distance of your home will continue to trend into the new year and the years to come. This is what we continuously strive to achieve for our clients: creating a beautiful and safe home with cutting-edge amenities in a setting with spectacular views. theiconyc.co.za

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