Sellers wait longer
Resistance to dropping prices
Fresidential property barometer – a survey of estate agents – found “a very noticeable” deterioration in the average time a property spends on the market before being sold. FNB property strategist John Loos says that figure has increased from 14 weeks and six days in second quarter 2008 to 20 weeks and one day in the third. “That’s reflective of ongoing resistance of many sellers to dropping prices to achieve a sale,” Loos says.
Overall, the property barometer reflected a further deterioration in the market. The survey was started in 2003 and in third quarter 2008 activity levels dropped to a new record low of 4,1. That’s down from the 4,4 level recorded in the second quarter and currently well below the near eight levels recorded back in 2004.
But looking forward, when agents were asked for their expectations regarding the following quarter, 48% said they expected improvement up from the previous quarter as well as the same quarter a year ago. “It would appear that the unchanged interest rate decision was viewed in a very positive light by agents,” Loos says.