Letter from the editor
I’VE BEEN so inspired by Silindile Leseyane’s story alongside this letter.
The crowdfunding of a group of friends in a stokvel setting for property investment is commendable and exciting.
Stokvels have been part of our culture forever, and it’s wonderful to see them applied so successfully to property.
It made me look around and notice that people are doing all they can to get into and/or stay in the property market.
We are seeing parents co-buying with their children; friends buying together, and even strangers opting to buy together – here I’ve been impressed by the Australian company Mortgage Mates, which is something akin to a dating site but for property in which they match you up with the perfect partner to buy property together.
There are also young families upsizing or buying their parents’ bigger home (with the parents staying on) and multi-generations living together.
We have also seen people take advantage of the good buyer’s market by borrowing money from family or friends for a deposit – anything just to get into the market.
However, the FNB barometer says that 75% of agents in their review in March report shrinking supply.
It’s not surprising. Some sellers – who are not desperate to sell – are probably going to play a waitand-see game. Instead of having their properties languish on the market and receive up to 30% less on their asking prices, they would rather withdraw the property and wait for a shift in the market.
The report is interesting because it could indicate a minor change in the market where the glut of property for sale may be decreasing while demand for property – with the best conditions to buy in years – is growing.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the months to come.
Regardless, many middle-class South Africans have been hard hit by the pandemic and are struggling to stay on their feet.
Bank holidays are over for owners and for tenants – landlords who gave some Covid reprieve are now demanding it be paid back in full while rents return to normal.
One doesn’t have to be a statistician to know that something’s got to give.
As humans we are known for our resilience and ingenuity, as seen in how locals are making a plan to get on to the property ladder. And we are also known for our kindness as seen during the early days of the pandemic.
Let’s hope the days ahead are brighter than expected and that even more new ways of doing old things begin to emerge.
I’m excited about this.