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Buyers competing for sought-after homes priced below R2,5m are in some instances pushing up asking prices, according to fixed-fee agency Eazi Real Estate. “Not only are asking prices in this price band readily being achieved, they’re also sometimes exceeded, with these high-demand properties selling in one or two days,” says Eazi Real Estate’s CEO Richard Day. “This happens when buyers submit competitive offers, resulting in properties being sold for above the asking price.”

According to Day, Eazi has seen sales increase by 166%, 366% and 200% respectively for June, July and August this year. He says although they sell most homes in less than 30 days, some properties are now being snapped up in just a few days. “Given our business model and technological capabilities, we were well-positioned and ready for lockdown. Our online systems were already in place, so we could adjust quickly and easily to the new regulations,” he says. “Our offer and administration processes have always been online, and going forward, more and more buyers and sellers are benefitting from this capability.”

With interest rates at record lows and no transfer duty payable on properties up to R1m, many of Eazi’s purchasers are first-time buyers and young couples or families, including those upsizing or downsizing. This trend is underlined by mortgage originator Ooba, whose first-time buyers comprised 53.4% of total mortgages in August. Says Day, “The interest rate drop has had a marked impact on the number of buyers who have decided to buy rather than rent. “In addition, we’ve concluded a few linked sales where owners are upscaling and therefore not only selling their property but also buying bigger properties. And in the sectional title market, we are definitely seeing an increased appetite for homes with gardens.”

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