Friday, 22 July 2011

Property investors becoming 'jittery'

The spate of comments from several of the world’s leading central bankers, including from South African Reserve Bank, warning that recovery from the financial crisis will be protracted and that there are real risks in the European banking system, which "poses a great threat to global financial stability”, is anticipated to make investors jittery says Auction Alliance CEO, Rael Levitt.

Marcus warns that even a partial debt default by troubled EU economies could trigger a “systemic banking crisis”. Her view that there are implications for the domestic economy is already unnerving investors and making them ask what the Reserve Bank will do about rising inflation.

A crisis in Greece has been temporarily averted, but according to Marcus, threats remain, not only from Greece but from other peripheral euro zone economies. "These unusually negative comments emanating from the SARB make one think that interest rates will rise sooner than originally predicted and banks may slowdown further on new funding", says Levitt.

The news about the economy seems to be worsening and people across the world are concerned that they will be personally affected by it. "When you consider how the cost of living has escalated, people have in actual fact been affected by the current economic turmoil and despite low interest rates, residential property prices have not risen".

According to Levitt, "there are many ways to stay financially solvent in bad economic times, and although it may not be easy, for some, it can be a time of great opportunity". The most important step is to curtail unnecessary spending and start investing smartly by taking advantage of volatile markets.

‘’Currently, interest rates on savings accounts are not ideal, but some gains are better than none at all. Having a savings account, or at the very least an emergency fund, is a smart decision in today’s economy and can protect you in the event of a further global financial meltdown or if a personal crisis strikes. Paying down any high interest rates debts should be a priority right now, particularly if they are draining your finances every month. If you do have a problem with a high debt to income ratio, you may want to consider a consolidation loan to keep those interest rates in check and to help you save money each month’’, says Levitt.

Levitt advises that if you want to keep growing your finances in hard times, there are several methods that can be utilised to fight rising inflation. The most common one is housing, given the current state of property values and the vast amount of distressed sales. "This is a great time to pick up an extra house if you have the funds, and this can easily be turned into a rental property that will generate income", says Levitt whose company was founded in 1992, in the midst of a global financial downturn.

Navigating the waters of uncertainty is never easy, particularly when potential sovereign debt failures are the talk of the entire world. However, if you watch your spending and take the time to see how you can make your money work for you, these are the times when real money is made. Investors in downturns take refuge in real estate which will rise with inflation and can be purchased at great prices. The golden period to get into the market comes up whenever markets get jittery", says Levitt.

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