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Friday, 24 June 2011

Financial pressure as rentals improve

At least 25% of houses sold in the second quarter of this year were the result of financial pressure on the household. According to John Loos, property strategist at FNB Home Loans, financial stress and pessimism about the future had contributed to the rising stock levels for estate agents.

He says that in the first quarter, low interest rates had been cited by estate agents as a key factor that influenced the outlook for home sales but in the second quarter this changed and houses are available on the market because the owners want to reduce their monthly costs.

Loos says that when interest rates rise – expected later this year or early next year – the financial strain will be even greater for homeowners who are already hard-pressed to meet their monthly commitments.

He says that regional property demand tends to be seasonal and that generally the outlook among estate agents remains rather low in winter.

In a separate development, Saul Geffen chief executive of ooba, one of the country’s mortgage originators, says that banks are continuing to relax their lending criteria and this is having an impact on sales figures.

He says the initial decline ratio fell by 5,8% in the second quarter of the year but remained high at 47,1%.

Loos says that fewer agents see the low interest rates as being a significant factor in boosting house sales and emphasised that agents point out that there has been a significant rise in the number of people seeking to downscale their living costs.

Meanwhile credit bureau and property rental management company, TPN says that 81% of tenants are currently in good standing with their landlords. According to TPN this is a sign that residential tenants are managing their credit better than in previous years.

The rental price bracket of between R3k and R7k proved to be performing particularly well with 84% of tenants in good standing and paying their rent on time.

However, in the price bracket below R3k as well as those above R12k had deteriorated and it says that this is further evidence of the financial strains that are currently facing many consumers. Only 75% of tenants living in homes costing less that R3k a month were in good standing while the percentage of paying more than R12k had fallen to 74%.

Non-payment of rental in both these brackets was 14%. Furthermore in the R12k-plus bracket only 67% of people paid on time while those who pay late was also at 14%.

It says the residential property markets in the Eastern and Western Cape continue to out-perform the markets in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

1 comment:

Eric S Doms said...

Glad I could help :)