Cape Quarter gets live-and-work spaces
eighbourgood is a new 3,000m2 living and working space opening in the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Centre in De Waterkant, Cape Town, in February next year. Launched by CEO Murray Clark, Neighbourgood is a property development and management company primarily in the business of customer service and hospitality.
The new development’s co-living space consists of 20 furnished apartments for letting per apartment or per suite, whereas the 1,800m2 workspace consists of an expansive co-working office, private offices, dedicated desks, hot desks and meeting room facilities.
Clark says the purpose of the development is to bring the traditional concept of a neighbourhood to life. “Neighbourhoods are the lifeblood of our society and provide a critical role in creating a sense of community,” he says.
“Our goal is to build a future of a connected living and working experience through all our developments, here and in Johannesburg.
“Its location in the Cape Quarter made perfect sense as it is already a mixed-use development with retail shops, grocery outlets, restaurants and coffee shops. Added bonuses are the secure underground parking and 24-hour security.”
Pam Golding Properties named SA’s best agency
ompeting against real estate companies from around the country, Pam Golding Properties has received the prestigious five-star award for Best Real Estate Agency (Over 20 Offices) South Africa in the International Property Awards for the 14th year.
The company will now compete for the regional award for Best Real Estate Agency Africa and, if successful, continue as a contender for the International World’s Best Award in this category.
Pam Golding Properties was also an award winner in the categories Real Estate Marketing South Africa and Real Estate Agency Website South Africa. Pam Golding Properties Kenya won the award for Best Real Estate Agency Marketing Kenya and will also go on to compete for the regional marketing award for Africa.
This brings to 59 the number of International Property Awards won by Pam Golding Properties to date.
Says Pam Golding Property group chief executive Andrew Golding, “This award further differentiates us in an increasingly competitive, dynamic industry, particularly as we move forward into a post-Covid-19 economic recovery in 2021.”
Yael Geffen, CEO, Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty
Study exposes new consumer trends
he digital age triggered significant changes in consumer behaviour, with Covid-19 accelerating the shifts that are forcing businesses to adapt or die, says Lew Geffen Sotheby’s International Realty CEO Yael Geffen.
“However, some changes were less predictable, and many have significant long-term implications for a broad range of sectors, including real estate,” says Geffen.
She cites recent data from the research company McKinsey Global Institute that shows the pandemic prompted 75% of US consumers to change shopping behaviours in response to financial pressure, store closings and changing priorities. The findings are predominantly relevant to the US market, but Geffen believes the South African market will largely mirror this trend.
The result has been a massive switch of brand loyalties, with 36% of consumers trying a new product brand and 25% incorporating a new private-label brand. Of those who tried different brands, 73% intend to continue to incorporate the new brands into their routine. Gen Z-ers (born after 1996) and high earners are the most prone to switching brands.
Consumers’ current focus is on essentials and this trend is set to increase rather than decline, even among those with higher incomes, according to the report.
This year about 40% of US consumers reduced their spending in general and are expected to continue to cut back on nonessentials specifically.
“The Ernst & Young Future Consumer Index study found that 35% of consumers are currently in a ‘save and stockpile’ mode as they are concerned about their family’s future and pessimistic about Covid-19’s long-term implications,” Geffen says.
According to her, these trends affect the real estate sector too. “Even the biggest, most established brands can’t afford to rest on their laurels,” she says.
“After months of lockdown, consumers’ new appreciation for the simple things in life has impacted their priorities and many would now, for instance, opt for the house with a garden to relax with family and friends rather than the one offering less maintenance with expensive bells and whistles.”
SA ranks high in buying affordability
esearch by Compare the Market Australia rated South Africa in fourth place among the most affordable countries to buy a house in. The research looked at average property prices per square metre and the average disposable household income in each country to calculate the cost per square metre as a percentage of annual income. Turkey had the lowest price per square metre – about R12,600 per square meter – which with an average household income of about R302,000, amounted to an affordability ratio of 4.2%.
Despite having a much higher property price of about R41,000 per square meter, the US was the second-most affordable country as it has a higher average income – about R750,000 – for a ratio of 5.5%.
Other affordable countries on the list included Russia, which came third with a ratio of 5.9%, as well as SA and Mexico, both with 7.3%.
Low interest rate sustains residential market
While the interest rate was already reduced by 300 basis points to a near 50-year low of 3.5%, several analysts expected a cut supporting a further easing of 25 basis points in the rate, says Golding.
“However, those who felt the MPC was more likely to leave interest rates unchanged, noted that October’s medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) had highlighted South Africa’s slower pace of fiscal consolidation and resultant elevated fiscal risks, prompting the MPC to err on the side of caution,” he says.
Furthermore, the MPC has previously pointed out that the full impact of prior interest rate reductions has yet to be felt – typically it takes between 12 and 18 months to feed through the economy – and that a further 25-basis-point rate cut would be unlikely to add any meaningful stimulus.
The governor of the Reserve Bank says the bank has already done what it can to support growth and that it’s now up to government to implement the long-delayed structural reforms to lift South Africa’s economic performance.
“That said, what we’re experiencing is a continued strong uptake in demand for residential property acquisitions around the country, particularly in the price band up to R3m, with additional encouraging signs of increasing activity at the top end of the market,” says Golding.
The MPC has indicated that the repo rate will most likely remain unchanged at current levels until mid-2021 before inching higher during the second half of 2021.