The cautious stance from South African Reserve Bank to leave interest rates unchanged may not be the worst thing in present circumstances. Analysts anticipated that the bank would keep rates unchanged considering the risks to the rand including the possibility of a credit-ratings downgrade from Moody’s.
“Balancing inflation and economic growth is a delicate business, and a conservative approach towards stabilising volatility is an important part of preparing for future growth and should hopefully settle concerns from investors over our country’s ability to take our economic outlook seriously,” says Tony Clarke, Managing Director for the Rawson Property Group.
A prime lending rate of 10% still remains favourable for property buyers, particularly when paired with the generous bond rates on offer from eager lenders.
“It’s been more difficult for lenders to meet their bond quotas since market activity has slowed,” says Clarke, “which has incentivised them to be more competitive in the interest rates they’re offering. Applicants with suitable profiles who can prove a stable income and a responsible financial attitude are being granted very favourable interest rates at present.”
This, combined with the abundance of well-priced properties currently on the market, paints an attractive picture for buyers looking to invest on the cusp of a property market upswing. According to Clarke, signs of this upswing have already begun in the form of a slow but steady increase in market activity which is predicted to strengthen over the typically busy summer period.
“The market will take time to recover fully from this extended contraction, and buyers are still in a position of strength with supply outweighing demand for now,” he says. “Until that changes, it’s essential that homeowners price their properties according to current conditions, preferably with the help of a comparative market analysis conducted by an experienced property professional.“
On the spending front, this time of year can be very tempting for consumers wanting to splurge on little luxuries and impulsive buys that are fun in the moment. Clarke advises consumers not to overextend themselves in these liminal moments, but use this time to pay off as much debt as possible which could put them in a strong position for the future.