SA is the embodiment of the "good news, bad news" paradigm, and for good to outweigh bad, political leaders need to make decisions that will reignite investor confidence, believes Lew Geffen Sotheby's Yael Geffen.
Until consumer and business confidence is restored, the market will continue to tread water in 2020. "At best, annual house-price inflation is unlikely to move beyond 5% next year as people continue to watch and wait while the government gets to work. We need decisive business and investment-friendly policies implemented soonest."
Property prices are not likely to increase in 2020, but could at least level out, believes Greeff's Mike Greeff. "The buyers' market is likely to prevail, but since Cape-based property continues to be sought-after, we may well start seeing small signs of growth in the next two to three years."
Stagnant development could start up again, and suburbs that were not previously on buyers' radars will become popular as they offer value, predicts Dogon's Rob Stefanutto.
"We do have slow-downs but the market does correct and gets going again. I feel we will see more entry-level buyers who take up good offerings and a confidence we did not see in 2018/19 going forward."
Should there be "no further threats" to economic growth next year, Re/Max's Adrian Goslett feels the local market will remain "more or less stable" and reflect higher house-price growth rates and numbers of transactions.
But, he adds: "I believe the luxury market will continue to feel the pinch within this tight economy." It is hoped 2020 will see higher economic growth to contribute to increased incomed, improved affordability and boosted consumer confidence - and so drive property demand, says Rawson's Craig Mott.
"The trigger of price growth will help stimulate healthy competition for property, and may just help swing the market from buyer-led to seller-driven."
He says analysts expect lowered interest rates next year, and that this, combined with more affordable mortgage rates, "will make property an increasingly attractive option".
While the Cape Town market may have hit a low this year, Knight Frank's Richard Hardie says some positivity is returning to the local market. Now that the water has returned ,so have the Joburg buyers. He does not believe in a "huge resurrection" as demand will need to start outweighing supply, but the market will be a "little more bullish".
The emergence of Cape Town as the next tech hub in 2020, the Property Practitioner's Bill, and tighter legislation for agents are also reasons to be hopeful.
14 Jan 2020
Lew Geffen Sotheby's International Realty