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Posted by admin on October 12, 2020


Dear Property Partners

I trust that you are all well and healthy. Fortunately, we are more or less halfway through winter now and trust that the second half of this challenging year, will be more prosperous for all of us.

However, if we look hard enough amidst all the dark thunder clouds, there will always be a silver lining and something to be grateful for. The latest being the SA Reserve Bank’s announcement that for the fifth time this year, it is cutting the interest rate with a further .25% – a cumulative 3% for this year! Our repo rate presently standing at 3.5% and our prime lending rate at 7% which is the lowest in almost fifty years! The lowest ever interest rate was 3,15% as recorded in September 1973.

The cumulative interest rate cut of 3% so far this year, will without any doubt be a stimulus for our lethargic property market, especially in the lower price ranges and for first time Buyers where affordability is a major issue. Interesting to note that presently around 70% of all bond applications at BetterBond, are first time Buyers due to the Buyers’ market with steadily dropping property prices, low interest rates, no transfer duties payable on the first R1million of the purchase price, as well as banks eager to approve bond applications with present less strict criteria applicable. Interesting to note that in a country like Germany, interest rates have been increased and in many other countries for example the USA, bond lending criteria has lately become much more stricter to limit risks. We all know that the “traditional” real estate environment marketing, has been changed irrevocably with Covid-19, the impact visible worldwide with constant decreasing property prices and sales volumes.

Without any doubt there is a growing international awareness under people that due to Covid-19 and were forced to work from home, that it has logistic, financial and tax advantages. Interesting that research show that in cities like Sydney, Rome and Monaco there is a growing trend amongst home owners to enlarge their existing homes to add offices, whilst in London statistics show that as much as 82% of prospective Buyers criteria is a separate wing to live-and-work from home. A growing trend also amongst Heiberg Estates clients.

The norm of formal offices is changing radically due to financial, safety and practical reasons not only on an individual level, but also on a corporate level where constant improving technology enables people to work from home as effectively as otherwise. In a recent survey 36% of respondents said that their companies are re-evaluating their office space requirements with technology-dependent remote working from home, being proven a possibility and gaining support and momentum with this pandemic.

Traditional property marketing strategies and protocol is changing worldwide to adhere to strict Covid-19 regulations. Physical property viewings only after the pre-qualification of prospective Buyers, is now only the very last step in the selling process. Digital marketing, professional photos, and videos of a property has become the first front and with a click on a QR code with your cell phone, extensive information is available literally within 5 seconds.

This is where we at Heiberg Estates, are very excited to announce that a whole new QR (quick response) marketing strategy has been developed and introduced for all our properties to the benefit of both the Buyer as well as the Seller! Each property gets its own QR code and the moment you open your camera and point your cell phone on the QR Code, when a text is displayed on your screen, you click on it and within seconds you can view a video and photos of this property. Easy, quick, highly informative and to the point which makes the whole property search much more streamlined and safer for all parties involved! Also, free to upload the QR application on your cell phone from the appropriate app store should you not have it or your phone a later model – just Google QR Reader and install the app! Try our QR taking you immediately to the Heiberg Estates Website out – point your phone’s camera to the screen:

Some of the latest property statistics and interesting facts, as follows:

  • A recent FNB research report shows that house prices are still on the decrease and expected to decrease by an average of 5% this year, whilst the difference between asking and selling price, is around 12%.
  • Statistics show that about 79% of properties sell for less than their asking price.
  • The percentage of people selling their houses under pressure, is on the increase and calculated at 18% of present sales. On the Commercial side, the highest percentage of owner occupiers selling due to financial constraints was 39,5% a year ago that has now increased to 57,4%.
  • The few property owners selling in order to upscale, has declined from 22.4% as recorded during the 3rd quarter last year, to 8,2% as recorded during the 2nd quarter this year.
  • Interesting to note that 55% of people that need to sell due to financial pressure, buy again whilst 45% rent or make alternative arrangements.
  • Those selling to emigrate accounts for 17% whilst 70% of these Sellers are between 35 and 45 years old.
  • Property across the board stay on the market for an average of 14 weeks and a day before being sold but in the cheaper price ranges they do sell sooner.
  • Due to Covid-19 and the travel ban, rental trends are also changing where demand for medium- and longer term furnished rental properties, are visibly on the increase.
  • Many property landlords are forced not to stand on the standard 12 month rental amount escalation in order to keep their tenants where across the board, everybody is experiencing financial pressure and uncertainties.
  • On the retail side the effects of Covid-19 is also very visible with much less traffic through our bigger shopping malls and for the unforeseen future, smaller and local shopping centres being preferred, not to forget the rapid growth of ecommerce during these challenging times.
  • Looking at industrial properties and also due to ecommerce, this sector has shown good growth especial looking at regional distribution hubs, that are being more and more localised due to the growing demand.
  • Our property market activity fell across all price segments with an average 50% during the second quarter of this year – the lowest in 17 years!
  • Industry Insight released a report pointing out that the construction sector decreased with 18% so far this year due to Covid-19 with almost 140 000 employees having lost their jobs and many more expected to be retrenched.

In general we are all aware that there will be no fireworks in the real estate market this year with our property market that has basically been on hold for already the past 12 to 18 months and even longer. We all know that our economy was already in trouble and stagnating for several years before Covid-19 with a 3 quarter recession already in place before Covid-19 hit us. Property prices as well as volumes sold, will most probably still decline moderately in low single figures in the foreseen future in the medium- to higher price ranges with vacancy rates throughout the whole commercial sector, expected to continue rising. Therefore the Buyers’ Market with low priced and ideal investment opportunities up for grabs, expected to be continued for some time to come. The time to buy is NOW! So please contact us or click with your phone on the following QR code to get immediate access to our website and to each individual property video and photos:

Be safe, be healthy.

Bambie & your Heiberg Estates Team – always 24/7 on standby for you!

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