Auc­tions first choice in wake of re­ces­sion

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - AUCTIONS -

ECONOMISTS are pre­dict­ing the end to the global re­ces­sion, with in­ter­na­tional data con­fir ming that economies are show­ing signs of growth.

Bri­tain, the last of the G7 na­tions to re­main in re­ces­sion, is fi­nally show­ing a turn with ex­perts in ac­cord that the lat­est GDP data will show the econ­omy grew 0.4 per­cent from Oc­to­ber to De­cem­ber.

This bodes well for the South African mar­ket and the re­newed buoy­ancy her­alds a new era of growth, says Jonathan Smiedt, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Clare­Mart Auc­tion Group.

“This is ex­cel­lent news for all, but es­pe­cially for South Africa, which ex­pects an in­flux of UK and Euro­pean tourists for the World Cup. Af­ter sur­viv­ing the long­est re­ces­sion ever recorded, many will want to cel­e­brate and im­proved mar­ket sen­ti­ment will mean less h e s i t a n cy t o s p e n d d u r i n g their South African visit,” said Smiedt.

Proof that the South African prop­erty mar­ket was out of re­ces­sion was ev­i­dent in the in­creased ac­tiv­ity and grad­ual in­crease in prices in the sec­tor.

“ Res­i­den­tial pri c e s have been on the in­crease, and we have suc­cess­fully sold proper- ties across the spec­trum in the last cou­ple of months,” said Smiedt. Auc­tions are also now an ac­cepted mech­a­nism within South Africa, and buy­ers and sell­ers alike are show­ing less scep­ti­cism than a cou­ple of years ago.

“For many, an auc­tion is now the first choice when it comes to dis­pos­ing of im­mov­able prop­erty,” said Smiedt.

“This re­ces­sion has proved t h e a u c t i o n me c h a n i s m t o many and we are re­ceiv­ing in­struc­tion from trusts, fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, funds, con­sor­tiums, gov­ern­ments and gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, as well as in­di­vid­u­als, daily.

Auc­tions de­liver re­sults and in to­day’s cli­mate re­sults are all that mat­ter,” said Smiedt.

Fol­low­ing their first Mul­ti­ple Com­mer­cial Auc­tion for 2010, Smiedt’s op­ti­mism for a re­cov­ery in the res­i­den­tial sec­tor is sup­ported by the at­ten­dance of their Flash Res­i­den­tial Auc­tion. “Jan­uary is tra­di­tion­ally a slower month in the prop­erty sec­tor, but we saw a healthy at­ten­dance and com­pet­i­tive bid­ding at our res­i­den­tial auc­tion,” said Smiedt.

His op­ti­mism is not lim­ited to the prop­erty sec­tor.

Find­ings of the Price­wa­ter- house Coop­ers 1 3 t h An­nual Global CEO Sur­vey, con­ducted be­tween Septem­ber and Novem­ber last year in 52 coun­tries, in­clud­ing SA, shows that an over­whelm­ing 93 per­cent of South African CEOs are pos­i­tive the coun­try will emerge from the re­ces­sion this year.

“Just over a year ago, when the res­i­den­tial mar­ket was in the dol­drums, we pre­dicted an up­turn in the lat­ter part of 2009 and re­cov­ery in 2010,” said Smiedt. “This was seen by scep­tics as talk­ing the mar­ket ‘up’, but the in­di­ca­tors show all the grad­ual re­cov­ery we an­tic­i­pated. We re­main op­ti­mistic for re­cov­ery in the prop­erty sec­tor.”

‘Af­ter sur­viv­ing the re­ces­sion, im­proved mar­ket sen­ti­ment will mean less hes­i­tancy to spend’

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