There can be no disputing that COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown impacted the residential property market enormously. Even though most agents and sellers expected the impact to be increasingly negative, the opposite is taking place in many areas.
According to Krystal Kolnik, Property Consultant at Jawitz Properties South Peninsula, COVID-19 not only changed the way people lived and worked every day but made them reassess what was important to them. Many buyers have taken the opportunity to reflect on what is important to them and are choosing the quality of lifestyle over anything else. “It has been amazing to see. I’ve had numerous buyers say that lockdown has made them realise that they want a better lifestyle. With countless people no longer needing to commute to work, they’re choosing to move from the city and Southern Suburbs to be closer to the beaches, have a garden and live a more chilled and relaxed lifestyle,” says Kolnik.
The novelty of working from home and being closer to family and community paired with lower interest rates and price adjustments have been the perfect combination for boosting sales in the South Peninsula. Properties in areas such as Capri, Sunnydale, and Milkwood Park in and around Noordhoek and Kommetjie have been selling like hotcakes.
Kolnik explains, “Lockdown actually gave us the opportunity to refocus on our listings and discuss price adjustments with our clients. A reduction of just R100,000, taking property from R2,095m to R1,995m, can make a significant difference. The price change stimulated interest enormously and resulted in lots of enquiries. Buyers saw the value and the sale happened.
Who are the Buyers?
“With the latest reduction in interest rates, buyers have been able to purchase homes on a higher rung of the property ladder; and many are choosing to buy instead of rent. Repricing your home oftentimes gives rise to interest from a whole new list of buyers because of this.”
Agents around the country are reporting significant increases in property sales and Kolnik can attest to this. She has been able to effect 15 sales since 1 June and she says that, for the first time in a long time, buyers’ expectations are meeting with sellers’ expectations. “I am finding that lots of millennials are buying as they have the security and affordability to qualify for bonds. In addition, there has been a significant increase in previously disadvantaged buyers,” adds Kolnik.
With the market in the South Peninsula appearing resilient, Kolnik advises buyers to ensure that they get pre-qualified and ascertain their affordability before they start seriously looking, as many of them will now be able to qualify for a higher property bracket.
When it comes to sellers, Kolnik emphasizes that they listen to the market. “It’s all about price. With the market being buoyant and interest rates low, if you’re not selling, your price is wrong,” Kolnik concludes.