Buyers competing for sought-after homes priced below R2.5m are pushing up asking prices in some instances, according to fixed-fee agency Eazi Real Estate. “Not only are asking prices in this price band readily being achieved, sometimes they’re also exceeded. These high-demand properties sell in one or two days,” says Eazi Real Estate CEO Richard Day. “This happens when buyers submit competitive offers, resulting in properties being sold for more than the asking price.” According to Day, Eazi sales have increased by 166%, 366% and 200% respectively for June, July and August. Although it sells most homes in less than 30 days, some properties are now being snapped up in just a few days, he says. “Given our business model and technological capabilities, we were well positioned and ready for lockdown. Our online systems were already in place, so we could adjust to the new regulations quickly,” Day says.
“Our offer and administration processes have always been online, and more and more buyers and sellers are benefiting from this capability.” With a record-low interest rate and no transfer duty payable on properties up to R1m, many of Eazi’s buyers are first-timers and young couples or families, including those upsizing or downsizing. This trend is underlined by mortgage originator Ooba, whose first-time buyers comprised 53.4% of total mortgages in August. Says Day: “The interest rate drop has had a marked impact on the number of buyers who have decided to buy rather than rent. In addition, we’ve concluded a few linked sales where owners are upscaling and therefore not only selling their property but also buying a bigger property. And in the sectional title market we’re seeing an appetite for homes with gardens.”